It’s not unusual for people to avoid the dentist. No one thinks that having their teeth worked on is a fun way to spend an afternoon. However, some people fear going to the dentist more than most. In fact, some people have a deep-seated fear of the dentist, which may be linked to early trauma experienced in the dental chair. For these people, and everyone else, the team at Babylon Dental Care has a few helpful hints for dealing with dental visit anxiety.
What Is Dental Fear, and Where Does It Come From?
Many people have anxiety about going to the dentist, but some people downright fear it. For these people, dental phobia is a serious and terrifying condition. Those who suffer extreme dental phobia will typically only voluntarily seek out dental treatment when severe pain forces them into the dental chair.
For several people, this fear of the dentist starts in childhood. Reports indicate that people who experienced some form of pain or trauma when young will form negative impressions of the profession that last well into adulthood. Failing to use numbing agents, pulling teeth, or drilling when a child is not expecting it or doesn’t understand what is happening can leave a bad impression on children. Children tend to hold onto this experience, and it colors their interaction with dentists for years to come.
Other factors that may contribute to a fear of the dentist can include:
- Fear of needles
- Fear of pain
- Fear of drilling or the sound of drilling
- Feeling like you don’t have control over what is happening
- Fear of losing your personal space
Dental phobia and anxiety can both have devastating consequences for an individual’s oral health. Those afraid of seeking quality dental care may experience pain, tooth loss, gum disease, and other serious health complications because they fear getting routine cleanings. With poor oral hygiene tied to numerous health conditions, like the potential development of cognitive issues and heart disease, it is more important than ever to keep your teeth healthy and your smile vibrant.
How to Cope with Fear and Ease Dental Distress
There are numerous ways an individual can cope with their fear and manage their stress without missing routine dental cleanings. The first step in relieving anxiety about going to the dentist is talking with your dentist. Communication is key. Dentists don’t take pleasure in causing pain or fear. Their responsibility is to protect their patients and care for their dental needs. If going to the dentist makes you nervous or uncomfortable, talk about it with the staff. Let them know that you have some fears and concerns. Ask about ways they can make you feel more at ease with what is happening.
Patients who fear dental treatment may also want to consider:
- Breathing therapy or meditation techniques to ease their stress
- Distract yourself, ask if you can bring headphones and listen to music or watch a television show
- Bring a stress ball or favorite item with you to your appointment, and squeeze it whenever you feel uneasy
- Bring a friend or loved one with you to your appointment for support
You may also feel more comfortable talking to a dentist about advances in technology that make dental visits less stressful. At Babylon Dental Care, we offer patients sedation dentistry options in a comfortable and relaxing environment. Our team of caring professionals is also sensitive to your needs and will work with you to help you get over your nervousness.
At Babylon Dental Care, we don’t want to be the reason you avoid going to the dentist. We want to be the reason you come back through our doors with a smile on your face. If you have dental fear or anxiety, talk to our team about your needs and let us come up with a dental care solution that works for you. Contact our office today for information and to schedule an appointment.