Dental fear or dental anxiety is a fear that makes people feel that a simple appointment to their dentist is the most terrifying thing that could happen to them. This can turn into dental phobia, but this last term should be used only for people that feel their fears are unreasonable and excessive.
Studies have shown that a percentage between 5 and 10 Americans suffer from dental phobia. This means that they avoid dental care as much as they can and they would visit a dentist only if they have an emergency, such as a terrible toothache.Otherwise they will never make an appointment.
Reading this article you will discover the causes of dental anxiety, you will see what you ca do in order not to be afraid of dental procedures and finally you will find out that there are no reasons to avoid dentists. This is because there are anesthetics that make you feel nothing during a dental procedure. All you have to do is to stay in your chair and your dentist will take care of everything, with no pain. Trust us!
One of the causes for dental anxiety may be previous experiences with doctors. If a patient had a bad experience with a dentist for example, they will always be afraid.
Some people are afraid of needles, especially when inserted in their gums.
There are cases when patients said that the side effects of anesthesia, such as dizziness or nausea, make them have exaggerated worries.
Another cause of dental fear may be the lack of control. Sitting in a chair with your mouth open, can make you feel uncomfortable, taking into account the fact that you cannot control what happens near you.
Good news is that dental anxiety can be treated.
Talk to your dentist about your fears and make sure they understand you. If your dentist does not take your fears seriously, feel free to find another dentist. As long as you trust your dentist, your fear will decrease. You need patience, trustworthiness, and competence. If your fear becomes a phobia, do not hesitate to go to a psychologist. They will help you overcome this unpleasant feeling.
For most of the patients with dental anxiety, the perception of pain is the reason that causes their fear. But nowadays dentistry is not painful any more. Modern anesthetics, the use of nitrous oxide(“laughing gas”, a gas which is inhaled through a mask worn on the nose and causes feelings of relaxation), will transform your dental experience in a non-painful experience. Mild sedative agents can also be prescribed for the patients to take the day before the dental appointment to help them sleep.
Besides pharmacological techniques, the most important for a patient is to feel that their dentist do empathizes with them. As a dentist, you should talk with your patients, explaining them the procedure and help them relax. Another important thing is that you should let patients maintain control during treatment. For example by raising their hand if they feel pain more that needed.
Patients can also listen to music while sitting in the dental chair, using some headphones. As a dentist you should do everything is needed in order for your patients to feel the most comfortable.
To conclude, if you are one of the patients who are afraid of dental appointments, relax, there are solutions for your problem.And do not forget that you are not the only one in this situation. A good dentist who uses modern dental procedures and anesthetics will give you a pleasant experience. After that you will see your dentist as your friend and you will be waiting for the next appointment.
Trust me, I was one of the patients with dental anxiety.And now my dentists has become one of my best friends.
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