Did you know that as many as 10% of Americans avoid going to the dentist out of fear? If you have been afraid of the dentist, and avoid preventative dental care as a result, the consequences can be painful.
If you have children, keeping your teeth clean isn’t only about you — a study in the International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry discovered that when a family member was anxious about visiting the dentist, that anxiety was often passed on to other family members. The study also showed that children take cues from their parents in deciding whether they should be afraid of the dentist.
Are you interested in getting back to the dentist, but unsure of how your visit will go? Here are four tips for experiencing less anxiety at the dentist.
1. Look for Sedation Dentistry Options
If you’ve ever seen the popular video of “David After Dentist” on Youtube, you’re probably familiar with anesthetic sedation that dentists provide during surgery. What you might not realize is that sedation dentistry is an option even when you’re not having any surgery done. The sedation is delivered either orally, as a pill, or as a breathable gas, and the effects of sedation include increased comfort, relaxation, and reducing overall memory of the treatment.
2. Look Up Dental Reviews Online
When you’re trying to find a family dentist, there are likely many options available in your local area. Reading reviews can be a good way to get an idea of how other patients rate a dentist’s approach to their patients, as well as the cleanliness of the office, how much effort the staff make in order to ensure your comfort, etc. Preparing and researching before your visit can help reduce anxiety of the unknown.
3. Explore Your Options for Cosmetic Dental Work
A recent study by USA Today has shown that great teeth are something both women and men consider the top “must have” for their potential partners. If you feel some anxiety about routine dental work, why not reward yourself with an easy cosmetic procedure, like teeth whitening? Not only will you feel more confident, but this will create a positive association with dental care in your brain, making future visits less difficult to surmount.
4. Visit the Facility Beforehand
Why not visit your dentist’s office before the actual appointment? Many fears are based in an unrealistic expectation of what’s going to happen. Going to the office and seeing that the environment is calm, clean, and safe can help reduce the discomfort you feel.
Are you afraid of going to the dentist? Have you tried sedation dentistry? Let us know in the comments.