Top 5 Tips For Overcoming Your Fear Of The Dentist

Posted on: 16 December 2016

According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 80 percent of Americans some form of dental anxiety, while between 5 and 14 percent of them have an extreme anxiety. A fear of the dentist is known as odontophobia. Fortunately, there are a few tips that will help you overcome this fear so that you can get the dental treatment you need to have a healthy and happy smile. 

Learn About the Latest Techniques

There have been many advancements in medicine, and practices have changed over the years. Perhaps you don't like needles and felt the pain of an injection that was used to administer a local anesthetic in the past. Now dentists use topical anesthesia that completely numbs the area so that you never feel the needle. 

Meet With Your Dentist Ahead of Time

Since a fear of dentists is relatively common, most dentists are prepared to help patients through their anxiety. Schedule a time to meet with your dentist to discuss your fears and be open to listening to any suggestions they may have. Sometimes it helps to have the dentist explain exactly how they will treat your teeth and gums, as this eliminates the fear of the unknown. The dentist may also recommend having your procedures done under nitrous oxide. This sedative will help you remain relaxed throughout the procedure. 

Bring a Friend

Going through something alone may be what scares you. Sometimes it helps simply to have a friend or family member you trust with you. He or she can provide words of comfort and keep you calm so that the dentist can complete their examination and any necessary treatments. 

Implement a Few Relaxation Techniques

Think about what helps you relax. If you enjoy the sounds of classical music, bring along a set of headphones. Perhaps you are the most at peace when doing Pilates. If so, use the breathing techniques you learned in class to help you calm down. You may even find that squeezing a stress ball during the procedure keeps your mind off of the dental work. 

Talk With Your Family Physician or a Psychologist

Should you still have trouble getting over your fear of the dentist, you'll want to make an appointment with either your family physician or a psychologist. The family physician may be able to prescribe a medication that you can take 20 to 30 minutes before visiting the dentist that will help you calm down. A psychologist will work to get to the root of your fear and provide you with techniques to get over it. 

For more information and advice, talk to a dentist like Kuban David S DDS.