You’ve probably heard it before: “I’d rather (fill in the blank) than go to the dentist.” We’re pretty sure that most people don’t actually hate dentists, so why are we the butt of so many jokes? We think it’s because so many people fear going to the dentist. If you are one of those people, we have a few helpful hints that might make your next visit less anxiety-riddled and more pleasant.
1. Do your research. Ask friends and family about their dentists. What are the office surroundings like? What is the overall demeanor of the team? Once you think you’ve found someone who caters to those with dentistry-related anxiety, get online and peruse their website. If you’re still not comfortable, call and ask if you can visit the office in person so you can take in your surroundings. Knowing what and whom you will encounter when you visit will keep surprises at bay and make you more comfortable.
2. Bring your own entertainment. Some people experience fear from the mere sounds associated with dentistry. If you come to your visit prepared with a calming playlist and some earbuds, it will help block the sound of drills, suction machines, and tartar scraping. Make sure your hygienist and dentist are able to move around your sound system, though; you want them to be able to complete their jobs the first time so you won’t have to return too soon.
3. Inquire about sedation dentistry. Some patients just need to have the edge taken off, which is why sedation dentistry is such a good option. We’re not talking about putting you completely under, though. Nitrous oxide is a commonly used gas that is administered through a nasal tube and keeps patients relaxed until the tube is removed. After a short wait, you can even drive yourself back to work or home after your appointment. You may also consider asking your physician about oral anxiety medications that could help ease your fears when it’s time for your next appointment.
4. Don’t put it off. The longer you put off seeing the dentist, the longer your fears have to build. Going with regularity functions as a kind of exposure therapy; each time you are exposed to the dentist and have a positive experience, your fears are reduced. Make sure you go at least twice a year (or more, if recommended by your dentist) to demystify the process.
At Dental Care of Boca Raton, we are passionate about helping our patients overcome their fear of going to the dentist. When you are comfortable with our office, team members, and treatment methods, then we are able to give you the smile you deserve. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.