If the sound of dental tools and the smell of a dentist’s office makes your heart beat triple, you’re not alone.The Dental Fears Research Clinic at the University of Washington estimates 5-8% of americans avoid the dentist due to fear and approximately 20% only go to the dentist when it’s absolutely necessary because of fear and anxiety. While going to the dentist may not be a particularly fun experience for most, many adults avoid seeking proper dental care all together because of the stress and anxiety they feel in the dentist’s chair. Avoiding treatment will actually allow easily treatable cases progress into destructive situations for oral health including periodontal diseases and tooth loss. Fortunately, there are amazing options like dental implants to restore missing teeth, but we recommend sparing your teeth that damage by regularly visiting the dentist. Today, Dr. Donian Shen is blogging from Mountain View, CA to discuss the causes and possible solutions for dental fears.
The Cause of Dental Fears
Having fears about the dentist can be spurred on by multiple things, but most commonly it traces back to a bad previous experience at the dentist’s office. There are a number of people with dental phobia or dentophobia, that actually experience a fight-or-flight response when faced with dentist visits. For those who haven’t had a previous bad experience, they may feel anxiety of the lack of control. Many suffering from dental fear feel vulnerable being in a situation where you can feel discomfort and have a hard time talking.
Dealing with Dental Fear
Going to the dentist is an essential part of maintaining strong, healthy teeth and not going can have drastic effects on your oral health. Here are a few tips to overcoming your fear of the dentist.
- Bring a friend or family member – Having someone that you trust can help alleviate some of the stress you may feel in the dentist office. Bring someone who will support you and help calm your nerves.
- Practice relaxation techniques – Try slow controlled breaths to calm your nerves. Using breathing techniques can physically calm your heartbeat, allowing you to calm yourself mentally as well.
- Distract yourself – Instead of focusing on being in the dentist office, focus all your attention on something else. If your dentist has a TV or radio playing during treatment, pay all of your attention to that.
- Talk to a psychologist – Going to get professional treatment can be a great tool for those who can’t make it into the dentist office. You can learn more techniques to get over your fear.
Contact Our Office
Going to the dentist office doesn’t have to be as difficult as you think. Facing your fear of the dentist can help spare your teeth from potential damage. If you already have severe dental problems like missing teeth, contact our office to find out more about how dental implants can change your smile.Previous Post