Fear of going to the dentist is so prevalent that it has its own name: dentophobia. According to the National Institutes of Health, dental anxiety affects 36% of the population, while extreme dental fear affects 12%. That’s hundreds of millions of people!
Short of never going to the dentist, what’s someone who’s afraid of the dentist supposed to do? If you have an extreme fear that’s debilitating, it’s best to first consult a qualified mental health professional. Here are some tips to improve your quality of life in the days leading up to a dental appointment and during the appointment itself.
Most of us experience anxiety now and again. One proven method for managing the feelings and thoughts associated with anxiety is meditation. While a daily practice will offer the most benefit over time and in moments of acute stress, like when you’re actually in the dentist chair, meditating before an appointment can be beneficial, too. Even focusing on your inhalations and exhalations as your teeth are examined and cleaned can make your experience at the dentist a lot more positive.
2. Advanced Comfort Dental Sedation
Here at Aesthetic Dental & Specialty Center, we offer advanced comfort sedation to our patients whose fear of the dentist would otherwise interfere with their care. We offer moderate sedation so your experience with us can be pain free and relaxing. Our patients who receive advanced comfort sedation report little to no memory of their procedures, and the experience also seems to last a very short time.
3. Share Your Fears
Telling a trusted friend or family member about your fears can actually lessen their effect on you. It’s also important that you share your fears with your dentist. The vast majority of dentists want to provide a positive experience. If for some reason, your dentist doesn’t respond to your anxiety with compassion and reassurance, it might be time to consider a new dentist who cares about your mental health and not just your teeth and gums.
Going to the dentist doesn’t have to be a terrible experience. Try these anxiety-reducing tips, and if you’d like to try advanced comfort dental sedation, please reach out to us at Aesthetic Dental & Specialty Center today for a free consultation.