It’s not uncommon for people to find going to the dentist to be a frightening experience, but it doesn’t have to be. Fear of the dentist is natural and can be minimized if it’s handled well.
It’s important to see the dentist on a regular basis, even if you’re afraid. If you suffer from dental fear, here’s what you can do to make your trip to the dentist more manageable and less frightening.
Problems That Come From Dental Avoidance
You might be scared of going to the dentist now, but it can only get worse if you take a long time to see the dentist again. Dental avoidance can cause a variety of dental problems that can make your next trip to the dentist harder than it needs to be. Problems you might experience include:
- Bad breath occurs due to bacteria buildup in the mouth. Brushing your teeth can help, but if your dental health is poor, you may continue to experience bad breath anyway.
- Cavities happen when bacteria cause dental decay that creates a hole in the teeth. Cavities are painful, and if untreated, can lead to problems like infection and tooth loss.
- Plaque and tartar buildup can trap bacteria against the tooth enamel, leading to cavities.
- Tooth decay and tooth loss occur as a result of advanced dental problems.
- Gum disease can cause the gums to become puffy and inflamed. Gum disease can also cause gum recession, which leads to bone loss and eventually, tooth loss.
- Progression of oral cancer. While your dentist is likely to see signs of oral cancer when you come to see the dentist, you may miss the warning signs, allowing oral cancer to worsen.
- Discolored teeth can occur due to poor oral hygiene.
How to Make Your Dental Visit Easier
There are many ways to make your visit to the dentist easier! At Weninger Dentistry, we use methods like sedation dentistry to calm patient nerves and make the dental experience easier overall. In addition to sedation dentistry, you can also:
- Bring someone with you for moral support. Check with us before you bring someone to ensure it will work for your procedure.
- Don’t arrive too early. Arriving early gives you time to overthink the appointment, which can cause more anxiety.
- Ask questions to calm apprehensions. Our dentists and staff are happy to answer any questions you might have about your visit to the dentist. Getting answers to your questions can help ease your anxiety.
- Ask for breaks if it becomes too much. When your anxiety builds up, ask your dentist for a little time out. Come up with a pre-arranged sign – like a hand wave – that your dentist will know means that you need a break.
- Distract yourself on the chair. Listen to music or a podcast, or watch television (if your dentist has a television) while the appointment is happening.
If none of these things work, it may be time to seek help from a therapist or talk to your doctor about anxiety medication, if your fear of the dentist is crippling enough.
Contact Weninger Dentistry for Your Next Appointment
Your trip to the dentist doesn’t have to be a source of stress. Contact us to make an appointment and discuss your concerns. We can help! We have lots of strategies to help distressed patients and we can help you too.