Despite the fact that dentistry and dental procedures have vastly improved over the past few decades, some people still harbour fears about attending dentist check-ups. There are those that have genuine dentophobia and there are others that have fears that can be allayed quite easily with the right information and treatment. If you have never experienced the fear of going to the dentist then you may not understand the stress it can place on patients, and the impact it can have on a person’s dental health. Should you be someone desperate to discover a solution to your fears, read on as we investigate the possible causes of dentophobia, and the many solutions that are available.
When going to the dentist makes you feel stressed, and you panic each time your check-up appointment is due, you need to question what it is that makes you feel this way. Is there one unfortunate incident that has determined your view of dentists? Perhaps it is memories of childhood dental appointments that makes you worry about appointments as an adult? In many cases, fears are unfounded and are based on incidents that occurred several years ago, or on events that happened to somebody else. Some adults are even afraid because of vaguely related factors that occurred when they were children, such as seeing their parents or grandparents remove dentures, or friends and relatives being in pain after a visit to the dentist. Memories such as these can evolve into long-lasting negative impressions that still have an impact in adulthood.
Talk to your dentist
Thinking rationally about your fear can help you realise that your fears are baseless. Dentistry has changed immensely and so if you are scared because of something that happened many years ago, such as a painful tooth extraction or filling, Dentists are well aware that some people are extremely afraid of even stepping foot inside a dental practice and know that previous traumatic incidents can have a long-lasting effect on a patient. With any procedure, a good dentist will talk you through everything before any treatment takes place. Sharing your fears with the dentist will allow the entire dental team to reassure you of their role, of what will take place during your appointment and of what pain cessation methods will be available should they be required.
Do your research via reputable sources
The internet is full of scare stories about cosmetic dentistry, disastrous trips to the orthodontist, and celebrity dental mishaps, but for each sensationalist story there are several more real-life incidents of cosmetic dental work allowing people to live normal lives after accidents, about dental implants giving those lacking in confidence a whole new lease of life. When researching dental procedures do so through reputable sites and get advice from dental professionals rather than potentially unreliable media sources.
Tackle your fears now
Unfortunately, fearing the dentist will inevitably make matters much worse. Refusing to go to the dentist means you won’t benefit from essential oral hygiene advice, cleaning treatments, fillings and any other treatments you may require. This can lead to bad situations becoming much worse and if you leave appointments until you are writhing in pain, you may have to face much more intrusive procedures. Seek expert medical advice from your GP or your dentist and tackle your fears head-on to make the most of the dental treatments that are available.