How to get over your fears about going to the dentist
It’s not uncommon to be afraid of going to the dentist. According to recent studies, it’s estimated that between 5-8% of Americans avoid the dentist out of fear. However, the percentage of those who feel anxious about the dentist is even higher. This fear and anxiety may stem from bad past experiences, fear of pain, general anxiety around medical treatments, or various other reasons.
While avoiding the dentist may not seem like a big deal, it can lead to some severe consequences, including cavities, plaque, gum disease, and even tooth loss. In order to have proper oral hygiene, it’s essential to see your dentist regularly. Here are tips to help you get past your fears of the dentist.
1. Find a dentist who offers patient amenities.
These could be simple things like television, music, or blankets that can be used during your appointment. The amenities will help keep you comfortable and give you a welcome distraction. Dr. Rink’s practice features many of these amenities and more, including DVD virtual reality glasses to keep you entertained during your appointment!
2. Bring a friend or family member!
You don’t have to go to the dentist alone. If you’re feeling nervous, bring a friend or family member along for the appointment. They can help keep you at ease and calm throughout the appointment. Even if they just wait in the lobby, knowing they're outside can help.
3. Take the time to ask questions.
It can sometimes help patients to understand what happens at each step of a dental appointment. Asking the dentist or hygienist to walk you through what they’re going to do next or what’s happening can be very helpful.
4. Take breaks as needed!
If you need a moment before continuing with an appointment, just let your dentist know. Sometimes having a few minutes to relax and regroup can make a world of difference. It’s almost to let your dentist know if anything they are doing is painful, or you’re experiencing more sensitivity. This can ensure they also provide you with breaks during your appointment as needed.
5. Ask about your sedation options.
If you are concerned about pain or are feeling anxious, there are also sedation options available. Dr. Rink offers an oral sedation pill that leaves you in a comfortable state of relaxation but not unconscious. Nitrous oxide sedation is also available for those who wish for a deeper form of sedation.