Dental fear refers to the fear of dentistry and of receiving dental care. A severe form of this fear (specific phobia) is variously called dental phobia, odontophobia, dentophobia, dentist phobia, or dental anxiety. However, it has been suggested not to use the term "dental phobia" for people who do not feel their fears to be excessive or unreasonable and resemble individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder, caused by previous traumatic dental experiences.
Fear of dentists is very common. Let's face it -- going to the dentist is not fun; dentists do poke and prod a sensitive area of your body. Often an upsetting childhood dental experience has lasting effects into adulthood. Sometimes people "inherit" fears from parents, whose experiences with dentists may have been traumatic. But dentists are better trained today and have dental instruments
and techniques to minimize discomfort.
Ask your friends and family to recommend a dentist they trust. You can also read dentist reviews online. Talk to people you know about their dentists to find one who is sympathetic. Finding a dentist who understands that you are anxious and will work with you will increase your comfort. Many dentists offer practices specifically targeted towards fearful people and offer a variety of solutions that may include sedation, hypnosis, and lots of reassurance.
Call the dentist's office to inquire about the office's atmosphere, and the types of sedatives he uses. This will give you an idea of what to expect.
Brush your teeth thoroughly, floss and use mouthwash right before your appointment to reduce odors and so your teeth look their best for the dentist. This will prevent embarrassment about the condition of your teeth.
Bring a friend with you or a family member as well. Make sure this person is comfortable with dentists and not the high-strung sort.
Take deep breaths to slow your heartbeat and relax your muscles while in the dentist's chair. Envision how you would like your appointment to go and meditate on a positive experience rather than the "what if" of the situation. Envision how wonderful it will be to have a beautiful, healthy smile.
Remember--when you get through this, you will prove to yourself you are a strong person, who takes care of your body. This will be over soon--and don't forget to reward yourself!
If you have to get a procedure with filling teeth equipments
, it's not the end of the world! If you are a child, request to get a BPA free filling, as BPA is linked to behavior problems in children. Or, suggest to use nitrous oxide. It is actually kind of fun
when your lip goes numb. You can feel how your lip feels blown up. Focus on that rather than the scary thought of getting the Novocaine shot.
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