You’re in the 20% of people who suffer from “dentist” anxiety. These are people who will go to the dentist only when they have to. How do we know? You’re reading this!
On a more serious note: fear of the dentist is keeping millions of people nationwide from seeking preventive dental care. The consequences of this issue may go beyond toothache and cavities. Gum disease is a serious problem that has been linked to a number of illnesses. These can be quite grave and include stroke, heart disease, and diabetes.
The good news is that lots of dentists have been trained to treat anxious patients. This article will discuss the reasons for this irrational fear and a novel method to alleviate it.
Fear of the Dentist: Causes
Between 5% and 8% of Americans have such fear of the dentist that they never go. Just under 70% of them associate the fear with a negative experience, sometimes going back to their childhood years. Some have other problems, of which fear of the dentist is a side effect. These include substance abuse, anxiety disorders, post traumatic stress, or others.
One thing fear is not a result of is actual pain. Rather, it stems from the perceived lack of control in the dentist’s office. The dentist is hovering above you as you lie in the chair helplessly. You can’t respond effectively or even talk. In light of this, some anxiety is understandable. Horror movies about dentists aren’t helping either.
There are dentists with experience in treating fearful patients. Some even set up their offices with views of the mountains or overlooking a pristine, immaculately maintained garden. The waiting room displays soothing pictures, a far cry from posters depicting gums in various stages of decay.
Modern dentists are aware that patients have different pain thresholds. Dentists who assume everyone feels pain the same way and to the same degree create needless anxiety.
A reputable dentist is careful about pain control and makes sure their patients feel calm and relaxed. Patients don’t want to be told that “something shouldn’t hurt.” Of course, it’s a two-way street. Anxious patients should be more outspoken. They should ask what can be done so they feel more comfortable.
Tips to Assuage Fears
The first talk with the patient shouldn’t be right in the chair. Good dentists explain what someone is going to feel in a gentle way. They also explain for how long and ask the patient if it’s OK to continue. They will let the patient stop the procedure if they feel unwell in any way. They can do this by raising their hand if they can’t talk. If the patient asks for a break, the dentist makes time for one.
Unfortunately, some professionals lack the patience to treat anxious patients. If you’re looking to change your current dentist or simply looking for one, be honest with them. Talk to them about your fears right from the start. Ask to talk to the dentist about your anxiety before you make an appointment. If the dentist doesn’t call you back or acts dismissively, their practice is probably wrong for you.
Technology That Soothes
TruBlu’s state-of-the-art DentalVibe technology eliminates anxiety by working fast to relieve pain. When you get an injection, this simple, yet innovative tool vibrates at the site gently. The vibration desensitizes the nerve, which then doesn’t send the brain pain signals. The tool also disperses anesthesia fast, so relief is immediate. If you have any questions or want to make an appointment, give TruBlu Dentistry a call today!