Thousands of Americans suffer with poor oral health because of a serious fear of the dentist. It is not uncommon to be afraid of the dentist and it can be a serious issue that keeps people out of the dentist’s chair for months and sometimes even years. While it may be common to be afraid, it is not okay to skip regular dental visits. Skipping dental visits can result in serious tooth decay, gum decay, and oral health issues that will get severely worse if undetected.
Many dentists strive to create a comfortable and calming environment for patients so that they don’t have to fear the dentist’s chair. Ask your dentist about the options that they have to make your experience fear-free.
Here are some things that you can ask your dentist about that may help with your anxiety and fear.
- Setting the scene– Listening to soothing music, covering your eyes, and even lighting candles can help with your experience. Sometimes patients simply need a distraction from the sounds of the cleaning or procedure tools. Covering your ears and smelling something other than toothpaste can help relax you and make you forget that you are at the dentist.
- Sedation dentistry– Ask your dentist about sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry relaxes you by using sedatives either orally, intravenously, or in other forms that will make you sleepy and relaxed. Different offices offer different sedation options. Talk to your dentist about the right option for you.
- Ask for an explanation– As a patient with dental anxiety, you realize that some of your fears are a bit unreasonable. Ask your dentist to thoruoughly explain procedures and give details as to why you need them. Understanding what your dentist is doing can give you peace of mind and help relax you.