A fear of the dentist isn’t something only experienced by children. If you get feelings of anxiety when visiting the dentist, chances are you aren’t alone. While general feelings of unease and anxiety are quite common, some people experience debilitating and severe dental-phobia, or fear of the dentist.
How strong a phobia is varies greatly from person to person, and there’s never a common root cause. Once a fear of the dentist is established, it can be difficult to get rid of due to an unfortunate cycle of perpetuating fear. A fear of the dentist results in the avoidance of dental checkups, which leads to a greater risk for developing serious dental problems. Once things get critical and a dental visit is necessary, it’s usually done under conditions of high stress and anxiety, which further perpetuates the fear of the dentist and causes the cycle to continue. Putting off a dental appointment due to fear will only make things worse. Moreover, one may suffer further impacts on their daily lives, including lower self-esteem and feelings of embarrassment at the state of their teeth.
Acknowledging your fear is a good place to start. It’s important to be honest with yourself and try to identify the specific aspects of the dentist that make your heart race. Changing your mindset can help make a big difference. We suggest that you slowly ease yourself into regular dental visits. Start by tagging along with a family member or friend, and getting comfortable with the environment of the dentist’s office. Once you feel relatively acquainted, you can start with basic and routine screening procedures, perhaps even just having a conversation with your hygienist. Take things slow and allow your mind time to adjust to each new change. Finally, inform your dentist of your concerns! Talk to them about what it is that you find discomforting and work with them to come up with a plan. Your dentist is there to support you and make sure your oral healthcare needs are being taken care of.
Still struggling with a fear of the dentist? One simple way to start is to be greeted by friendly and helpful staff upon your first visit. Centennial Smiles is always happy to welcome new clients, no matter their comfort level. We’ll be with you every step of the way to make sure you get the smile that you deserve. Ready to get started? Call us at (587) 317-7959 today!