Going to the dentist is a regular need for everyone. It is important to maintain oral hygiene to stay healthy. But, you may not particularly enjoy this visit. In fact, there is a high possibility that you are extremely fearful of going to the dentist. This could lead you to cancel your appointment ahead of the date or maybe just not show up at all! You may be overcome by feelings of helplessness and discomfort at the very idea of sitting in that chair. If any of this is familiar to you, don’t worry, because a large population of people feel reluctance and fear at the thought of going for a dental check-up. Below, we will discuss what the popular reasons for fearing the dentist are and list a few ways you can make this task less scary for you.
Why do people fear the dentist?
There could be any number of reasons for people fearing the dentist. And each person may have a different reason based on their own personal bad experience. These experiences could range from being treated by a rude dentist as a child, or facing some injury at his hands, or just an uncomfortable experience. There is a high possibility that this fear emerged in childhood as this is when associations are made between events and feelings. Therefore if one underwent a traumatic or painful experience at the dentist during a regular check-up or when getting a cavity filled, this association is likely to last well into adulthood.
Another reason people dislike going to a dentist is because of the unfamiliar feeling of not being able to see or control what is happening. This is especially true in cases when the dentist is new and the individual is going there as an adult.
Not going to the dentist has several long term health implications such as cavities, gum disease, and overall poor dental health. Over time, this can lead to a need for surgery or root canals. If you’re extremely scared of visiting the dentist, read the tips listed below to get over your fear.
5 Tips to Overcome Your Fear of the Dentist
First off, start a conversation with your dentist. Air your doubts and fears to him/her. Once you do this, your dentist will be able to change the way he conducts certain tests and administers treatment so that you are more comfortable during the entire process.
Secondly, establish a ‘stop’ signal. This is something you can use in case the duration of the appointment becomes too overwhelming for you. You can sit through how much ever you are comfortable with and if you feel extremely nauseous or uncomfortable, you can stop the appointment then and take a break.
The third thing you could do to feel a little more comfortable when you go to meet your dentist is to ask questions. Your dentist will be able to answer all of these and you can even ask for details so you know exactly what is going to be happening. This will definitely help put you at ease.
Next, make sure you relax. The more stressed you get, the more anxious you are likely to be. Try booking morning appointments as this is the time that you will be least stressed at. Before you go for your appointment, take a few minutes to relax and clear your head.
Lastly, even though this may be counter-intuitive, make sure you visit the dentist regularly. If you have had one bad experience, it is important for this association to be replaced by a more positive, pleasant one. The only way this will happen is if you go to your dentist regularly. With time, your fear will fade away.