If you are someone who dreads the thought of going to the dentist, you are not alone. The dentist and his or her dental apparatuses can be a trembling sight, especially for those who had a bad dental experience in the past. But you cannot avoid the dentist forever. Sooner or later you will develop oral problems that will require the service of an expert. And the other bad news is that, a dental treatment is likely to cost you way more than it should.
What is Dental Fear?
Dental fear is a term used to refer to the fear of seeking dental care. Approximately 6 out of 100 Americans have dental fear. These people have the tendency to only go to the dentist when absolutely necessary. Dental fear may arise from a bad dental experience. It can be a side effect of a psychological disorder such as substance abuse, depression, and post traumatic stress. Dental fear may also stem out from being totally out of control. The thought of being stuck on a chair with the dentist hovering above you and working on your mouth, can instigate anxiety.
Methods Dentists Use to Help a Patient Relax
Different methods are available to help a patient relax during a dental treatment. One may be suggested by the dentist depending on your needs.
- Behavior Management – The dentist can help you get used to the sight of a dental office and the dental apparatuses. He or she can tell you what to expect during a treatment, and how you can prepare for it. Do not hesitate to tell the dentist about your fear so that he or she can come up ways to help you deal with it.
- Sedation – Sedation may be inhaled or injected. Also called laughing gas, inhaled sedation allows you to feel more relaxed while still being aware of what is happening. With IV sedation, you will not remember almost anything during the treatment.
- Music – The dentist may give you a headphone to listen to music while getting the treatment. Some dental clinics have a television mounted in front of the dental chair or ceiling for the entertainment of their patients.
Dealing With Dental Fear
Set an appointment with the dentist prior to treatment. This will give you the chance to observe the clinic, and get acquainted with the dentist. Ask questions about the methods he or she uses to make a treatment less difficult for the patient. If you are not comfortable with the dentist, find someone else. It is important that the dentist you will pick does not only have good reputation, but also makes you feel at ease. Do not wait until there is a problem before you get dental care. Prevention is always better than cure. See the dentist for preventive care at least twice a year. This helps avoid the onset of dental problems, and the need to go through painful dental treatment.
This article was written in collaboration with the Dentist Adelaide web site.