Here at Wimmer Dental serving the Littleton and Centennial areas, we want to help you with overcoming your fear of seeing the dentist. We understand that while it is generally not a fun experience, it is necessary for good mouth health. Ultimately, avoiding your dentist makes the situation worse because you will increase your chances of needing more work done. We have put together a few tips to help make your visits to the dentist better.
Lack of Control
One of the primary reasons people do not enjoy the dentist is a lack of control. You are in a chair in a prone position and there is a person with their hands in your mouth. This prevents you from speaking and generally results in a strong feeling of a lack of control. Additionally, our mouth is primary to our survival. We need our mouths the breath, eat, and drink. In general, our deepest instincts direct us to avoid letting people touch inside our mouths. It is understandable then that many people don’t really enjoy visiting the dentist.
The tools required for fillings, crowns and more do not necessarily help with overcoming your fear of seeing the dentist. Sharp metal instruments do not generally inspire a sense of calm and needles are a major source of fear for a number of people. Additionally, the whirring and clicking noises are not calming. Unfortunately, there are a number of sources of a fear response at the dentist’s office.
The First Step
If going to the dentist is a bit like pulling teeth, for either you or a loved one, starting by admitting there is a problem is helpful. A number people make excuses and come up with reasons why they can’t make it to the dentist. Admitting that fear of the dentist is a problem will help you better come to terms with potential solutions. It is also helpful to identify what the exact issue is. Is it the needles? Have you had a bad dental experience before? Is it the chair? Pinpointing your exact fears will help you better determine effective strategies for addressing your issues.
Find a Good Dentist
Finding a good dentist can help alleviate the fear of a botched dental experience. You can ask family or friends for recommendations and you can look for dentists who are concerned with their patient’s comfort and are willing to address dental anxiety. Additionally, finding a dentist with a sense of humor may be helpful. A study found that use of humor in a dentist’s office does have a positive effect on the level of fear for dental patients.
If you need a caring professional who can help with overcoming your fear of seeing the dentist, contact us here at Wimmer Dental for a consultation.
Maybe your issue is the sounds of the drills and suction. Finding ways to take your focus away from the noise may be helpful. You could consider wearing noise-canceling headphones or earplugs as a way to help reduce or eliminate the disturbing sounds. A number of dental offices now offer movies or television programs that you can watch on screens on the ceiling as a way to provide a distraction. You can also bring earbuds and your iPod or phone so that you can listen to music instead of the drills.
Relaxation Techniques can be Helpful
There are a number of relaxation techniques that can be very useful in being less anxious and overcoming your fear of seeing the dentist. Meditation can be a helpful way to deal with dental anxiety. Visualizations, prayer, and controlled breathing can also be effective. All of these offer some method for helping you control your level of stress and fear at the dentist’s office. If these don’t work, you can also ask about sedation dentistry.
Pay Attention to Your Gut Feeling
Sometimes the relationship between you and your dentist is not a good one. It doesn’t mean your dentist is not effective, just that they may not be the best dentist for you. A positive relationship with your dentist and their staff is important to helping you overcome your dental fears. If you feel like the dentist or the staff is not the best fit, it may be helpful to try a different dentist office. A number of offices these days are putting forth extra effort to attract patients who are fearful of going to the dentist. Trying a different office may be a good strategy for finding a good dentist near you.
Slow Dental Work is Better Than None
Instead of trying to get all your dental work done in a short period of time, you may be better served by shorter appointments over a longer period of time. A little treatment is better than no treatment because as we all know ignoring a problem is rarely an effective method of making something better. Small amounts of repeated, successful exposure can be effective in diminishing your dental anxiety.
Good Preventive Care will Help
Good dental habits will help you with having to have painful work done in the first place. Brushing your teeth well, flossing daily, and eating a good diet will help you avoid having to have some of the dental work that causes you anxiety. Prevention can be a great way to need easier visits and help you with overcoming your fear of seeing the dentist.
Talk to Your Dentist
Open and honest communication with your dentist will help your high anxiety. Your dentist may have additional helpful tips for dealing with your fears. It will also help your dentist be more mindful of your situation. Keeping your dentist informed is a good way to avoid inadvertent anxiety-causing situations.
Overcoming your fear of seeing the dentist can be done with a little patience and determination. If you need a dentist that will help you with your dental anxiety, contact us at Wimmer Dental, serving the Littleton and Centennial areas. We provide a positive atmosphere for our patients and will help you address your dental fears while taking excellent care of your teeth.