Nervous & Phobic Dental Patients
Most people don’t relish the idea of going to the dentist, but some people are more anxious about the experience than others. In fact, some people have a legitimate phobia when it comes to dental treatment. For them, the problem is so severe that they will go for years without actually visiting the dentist. This can lead to serious oral health problems that no amount of brushing or flossing will cure.
People who are anxious about going to the dentist may never completely overcome their fears, but there are things that they can do to make the experience a little less stressful. If you are nervous or phobic, here are a couple of things to consider for the next time you need to visit your dentist.
Communicate with your dentist
One of the most effective methods of fighting your fears is to simply bring them up with your dentist. Some patients are under the impression that the dentist will not want to hear about their fears or concerns, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Fear of dental treatment is quite common and your dentist will be prepared to answer your questions and address your concerns. Your dentist will start with issues that you’re comfortable with at the time. This may not take care of all the physical problems with your teeth, but it will ease your anxiety to the point where you can receive any treatment you need. Your dentist should help you get to the root of your anxiety so that it can be managed in the future.
Distraction during your appointment
For some patients, a simple distraction is enough to make an appointment seem less stressful. Many dentists provide headphones so that patients can listen to music or audiobooks during procedures.
Sedation dentistry has become an increasingly popular option for patients who simply cannot handle a visit to the dentist due to extreme anxiety. In sedation dentistry, the patient is given a sedative to help them relax, reduce or eliminate their anxieties during the appointment. For obvious reasons, sedated patients are often unable to drive after a dental appointment so they need to bring along an escort, usually a family member, to drive them home. The use of sedation can make a big difference to those who cannot face a dental appointment any other way.