Dental diseases such as tooth decay is one of the most common diseases affecting millions of people worldwide. So much prevalent is the fear of visiting a dentist as well. Popularly referred to as dental fear or dentophobia, this anxiety or fear is things many are battling with. This, in fact, has led them to either ditch their dentist visit or avoid it altogether until tooth decay starts creeping in.
There are different reasons why many experience dentist phobia. It can be as a result of a prior traumatic experience with a dentist or just the negative feeling of anticipation of pains. The mouth is a personal area and the thought of anyone invading that privacy can cause anxiety and fear for some. Whatever the case might be, the good news is there are some dentists who are skilled in handling fearful patients. Here, Dr. Zhang Minguan, a renowned dental surgeon provides tip to overcoming dental fear. You do not need to look forward to a dental chair with all gloom and fear anymore!
Communication is essential, and an excellent patient-dentist relationship is vital for the management of anxiety and fear. You acknowledge that you are always afraid of a dental visit and they are reasons why you keep putting them off. Then, you have been able to figure out the causes. Great! You are on your way to recovery. The next thing is to communicate with your dentist. Let your dentist know your fears, and the root cause before starting any treatment.
Some patients might require more than just communicating with the doctor. In case of significant dental activities like tooth extraction, root canal, and any other dental surgeries, you can ask for sedation to keep sleeping during the whole process.
Not only will the medications cause relaxation and reduces anxiety in the patient, but you also won’t also be able to feel any pain or have any negative experience. This will also give enough room to the doctor to administer treatment effectively.
Find the right doctor
Dentists are trained to ease patients of anxieties and fear and a good one should be able to go out of the way to make the patient comfortable. Some create an environment that is soothing, relaxing, and free of any horrific gum or teeth diseases. “Sometimes, the smells, the sounds and sights of the dental office can get some people to be afraid of the dental visit. A dentist can go far and beyond to remove those cues and create a great environment that looks nothing like a dental office just to make their patient comfortable. That is it is important to work with a doctor that you can easily communicate with. One that is warm, inviting, and all ready to make you comfortable as much as possible” says Dr. Zhang Minguan.
Techniques for staying calm during a dental visit
Even when you think you have got it all in control, your body might still be dreading those dental visits. However, there are techniques that can help produce a calming effect and reduce fears. For this:
- Distract yourself with media whether television, music, funny videos or anything that can serve as a good distraction. Fortunately, there are doctors that already offer these to help distract the patients. “Many dentists have a television or something fascinating that can distract the patient when they lean on the chair. It can help the patient forget they are in the dental office for a while and can help alleviates tension,” Zhang Minguan says.
- Ask a friend or someone you trust to accompany you to the dentist’s office. The person might help you calm down or distract you during the treatment.
- Practise deep breathing and other relaxation techniques to calm your nerves and relax your muscles.
With these techniques, chances are, you might not even experience pains as you expect.