If I said I was deathly afraid of the dentist, it would be an understatement. I do everything I can to avoid the dentist. If I even think about sitting in the dentist’s chair, my stomach sinks. I get anxiety, my heart beats out of my chest and I almost throw up. When I was a kid I had work done and now the shots and drills put me over the edge, even if I watch it in movies or hear those sounds. I take good care of my teeth so I don’t have to go in. The problem is I just broke one of my back teeth. It doesn’t hurt too much so I’m not in a big hurry to go in, but it’s hard to eat and I’m afraid I’ll make it worse and the dentist will have to do more. What can I do?
Miranda, Rapid City, SD
Fear of the dentist is a very real and common experience for many people. Many dentists understand that fear and are part of a group of dentists who have as their motto, “We cater to cowards.” These dentists typically go above and beyond to help alleviate any fear patients may have about going to the dentist. They know they may not change or take away your fear. They do try to work with you to make your fear managable while they work.
It not exactly the same at every dental practice, but when you visit one of these dentists, they strive to listen and understand your fears. They will work with you and talk you through the planned treatment. Many practices promote a comfortable experience through aromatherapy, calming music, warm towels and peaceful ambiance. They often offer movies you can watch, TV or games as distractions while the dentist is working.
If these aren’t enough to make you feel at ease with your visit, you may want to consider sedation dentistry. You aren’t fully asleep, but are comfortable and relaxed for your appointment.
You may want to find a dentist in your area that has experience with both.
This post is sponsored by Angel Dental Care of Akron, Ohio.