Does the thought of a dental exam make you worried? Is your dentist’s office the last place in the world you’d like to be? You’re not alone.
About 10% of Americans suffer from some type of dental anxiety. That’s a major reason why many people choose to avoid the dentist altogether.
But like many fears and phobias, dental anxiety can be overcome with more knowledge about dental practices, productive discussions, and keeping a positive attitude. While that’s certainly easier said than done for some people, it’s possible – even probable – to overcome dental anxiety.
The major causes of dental anxiety are:
- Pain. Surprisingly, the fear of pain is most prevalent in adults, not children.
- Dental history. Patients with negative past experiences in the dental chair cite this reason as a major source of anxiety.
- Loss of control. Some patients get anxious in the dental chair due to a feeling of helplessness.
Add it all up, and it’s easy to see how these three major factors keep some patients from visiting their dentist.
But the situation isn’t hopeless. Dental anxiety can be lessened – even eliminated – with these tips & tricks:
- Talk with your dentist about anything you’re uncomfortable about. This includes certain areas of your mouth that are sensitive to general dental probing.
- Review your dental history with your dentist about cavities, root canals, or other issues you’ve had in the past.
- Create a custom environment for optimum comfort. If you need certain music or type of lighting to calm your nerves, see if your dentist can accommodate special requests.