Dental anxiety is a lot more prevalent than most people think. Sure, it is completely normal to be somewhat anxious before going to a dentist, but it is not normal to let this anxiety prevent you from properly taking care of your teeth or getting treatments you need.
If this is the case with you, then you are probably suffering from dental anxiety, fear, or a type of phobia. Fortunately, there are available methods and options to help patients relax and receive the treatment they need. Most cases of dental anxiety are often triggered by particular experiences or events. These include:
1. The fear of losing control
Some dental patients find being in a dental chair overwhelming because it makes them feel like they are losing control. They feel helpless as a dentist pokes inside their mouth with all sorts of strange looking devices. People with this fear often feel trapped while at the dentist's office.
2. Fear of pain
Most people are afraid of anything that involves pain, particularly those with low pain thresholds.
3. Fear of being judged
Some people avoid going to the dentist simply because they are not proud of the way their teeth look. These people feel embarrassment or shame when a dentist examines their mouth due to all the oral health issues they have. Of course, the longer these people avoid going to the dentist, the worse their issues become.
4. Negative experiences with dentists
One of the main reasons people do not like going to the dentist's office is because of past bad experiences. If you ever have a dental procedure that is painful or leads to complications, it is natural to be nervous about going back to the dentist's office.
Overcoming dental anxiety
Now that we know what triggers your anxiety in the first place, let's take a look at a few things you can do to minimize your fears.
Tips to minimize dental anxiety
1. Understand your fears
Write down the things that make you scared to go to the dentist. That makes it easier for you to recognize them when anxiety starts creeping in.
2. Find an understanding dentist
Finding the right dentist is important if you want to overcome your anxiety. Find someone who is easy to work with that will go the extra mile to ensure you are comfortable.
3. Talk to your dentist about your fears
Your dentist is a trained professional who knows how to deal with these things, so give him/her a heads up about your anxiety.
4. Look for ways to reduce your anxiety
A good way to do this is by starting with milder treatments, then working your way up to more invasive ones.
5. Bring a buddy to your appointment
Having someone with you during your appointment can be very helpful. The person will serve as your support system.
6. Ask your dentist about sedatives
If you are having a difficult time relaxing at the dentist's office, talk to your dentist about sedation. Sedation can help keep you relaxed and calm during treatments.
Contact San Marcos Family Dentistry Dr. Gene Milligan to learn about other things you can do to alleviate your dental anxiety.
Request a dental appointment here: https://sanmarcosfamilydentistry.com or call San Marcos Family Dentistry Dr. Gene Milligan at (512) 392-6739 for an appointment in our San Marcos dental office.
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