Did you know that between 9% and 20% of Americans avoid a trip to the dentist’s office because of anxiety or fear? Dental phobia is a more common problem than you might think. Fear and anxiety can cripple a person, preventing them from getting routine dental procedures, like a cleaning, more serious procedures, like a root canal, and even from cosmetic dentistry’s treatments, like teeth whitening.
Luckily, there are steps that can be taken to help people overcome their fear of dentists. Here are just a few.
Sedation Dentistry. – If you’re so terrified of the dentist that even driving by an office causes you to shake and sweat, you may want to consider sedation dentistry. Oral sedation, IV sedation and nitrous oxide can all help calm a person down while sitting in the dentist’s chair, and allow them to get the care they need.
Specialized Offices. – Believe it or not, there are dentists out there who actually specifically cater to people who have a dental phobia. Their offices are built to be as relaxing, welcoming, and comforting as possible. The doctors there also take extra, precautionary steps to ensure that their patients are as comfortable as possible. They explain what they’re doing, and will stop at any time the patient no longer wants to continue.
Distractions and Relaxation. – If your dental phobia isn’t so severe that you can’t go to an office, but still causes you to feel anxious when in the chair, then perhaps try some distractions and/or relaxation techniques. Bring music with you to listen to when you’re getting taken care of, or try deep breathing and meditation before your visit.
These are just some of the ways people conquer and/or deal with their dental phobias. If you have any questions, or know of any other approaches that may be able to help, feel free to share in the comments.