How to Overcome Fear of the Dentist

Author: Dr. Reem Kidess | Posted on with 0 comments

Does the thought of going to the dentist have you scrambling for excuses for why you can’t make your next appointment? Avoidance behavior is one common subconscious strategy people use to cope with their fear of the dentist. Often these appointments get canceled for something more important that comes up with promises to reschedule, but busy schedules get in the way. The next thing you know, six months have passed, and you’ve missed another routine cleaning. Avoiding the dentist only compounds dental issues that will arise in the future. You know you need to go, but you’re not sure how to get over your fear of the dentist. Here are some things you may consider for how to not be scared of the dentist.

how to overcome fear of dentist

How to Get Over Fear of the Dentist

As with most challenges, the first step is to accept that you have a legitimate fear of the dentist. Schedule a consultation with your dentist or a dentist with a good reputation in your community to openly discuss the challenges you are facing with appointment follow-through. Be very honest with yourself. Explore where those fears may be stemming from so you can brainstorm ways to effectively address the fears or work around them. Even if you cannot determine a root cause, it doesn’t mean that work-around strategies cannot be effective. With advancements in technology and medical treatment, there are many options available.

Working with a dentist specializing in sedation dentistry can be an excellent option. Sedation-trained dentists work with patients just like you who may need some assistance toward addressing their fears so that they can walk out of their office with confidence and a beautiful smile.

Are you looking for a sedation dentist in Phoenix / Scottsdale / Paradise Valley? Schedule a virtual consultation over FaceTime or Skype from the comfort of your home today to see how we can help.

Related post: Why do people hate the dentist

Four Tips on How to Overcome Fear of the Dentist

Here are four other tips to help you cope or overcome your fear of the dentist.

1. Distraction – For those patients with mild fears or apprehension, distractions can be a great way to get your mind focused on something other than your dental work and stop the cycle of ruminating on worst-case scenarios. Many dental offices provide distraction options for their patients, including flatscreen televisions, music, and headphones.

2. Communication – Communicating your concerns and asking questions can help reduce anxiety. An experienced sedation dentist can provide effective treatment techniques to help address your specific needs, but you first must be able to communicate those needs.

3. Validation – Developing a good relationship with your dentist and dental office team is essential. You need to find a trustworthy dentist who will consider your fears and anxiety for your treatment plan. A dentist who specializes in sedation dentistry will quite often have additional insight into helping you work through your phobias and fears without judgment.

4. Sedation – A dentist specializing in sedation dentistry techniques is hypersensitive to the needs of their anxious patients. They have both the training and experience to tailor a treatment plan that works well for you. Sedation treatment is seldom a one-size-fits-all solution. A responsible sedation dentist will take the time to listen and get to know your specific needs to formulate a dynamic treatment plan that you are comfortable with.

Some of the techniques used by sedation dental specialists include:

  • Oral Sedation – This sedation technique involves taking oral anxiety medication about an hour or so before your appointment to help you feel more relaxed.
  • Inhalation Sedation – The use of nitrous oxide (also referred to as “laughing gas”), can help induce a relaxed state. This involves using a nosepiece to administer a controlled flow of oxygen mixed with nitrous oxide through the nasal passages which will help you feel calm.
  • IV Sedation – IV sedation is an advanced technique used by dentists who have been specially certified in the use of IV sedation. IV sedation has many advantages, including the ability to carefully monitor and control medication flow and immediate effects as it is administered through an IV port directly into the bloodstream. This can be an advantage to using oral sedation, especially during longer procedures where there could be a risk of oral sedation medication wearing off. Due to the ability to control the flow of anxiety-reducing medication, IV sedation is often used to accomplish more work in fewer appointments.

How Do I Get Started?

Are you ready to overcome your fear of the dentist? We can help. Contact our office today for a virtual consultation you can attend from the comfort of your own home. Our compassionate staff is here to support you in finding ways on how to overcome your fear of the dentist.

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