When was the last time you saw your dentist in Washington? If you can’t remember, then maybe the problem isn’t that you’re too busy, but that you’re a bit fearful of the dentist. That’s okay. Researchers estimate that millions of Americans avoid seeing the dentist because of fear or anxiety. Nevertheless, you really do need to see the dentist regularly in order to take care of your teeth and gums. Read on to learn more about dental fear and anxiety and what the dentist can do to help you relax.
Is It Dental Anxiety of Phobia?
If you feel a bit nervous or stressed before coming to the dentist, then chances you have dental anxiety. This can be especially troublesome when you need to have treatment that goes beyond a typical dental cleaning and exam.
On the other hand, dental phobia is characterized by fear that is debilitating. Even the thought of going to the dentist—never mind having an appointment—can bring on panic. Therefore, people with dental phobia may avoid seeing the dentist unless they are in severe pain.
What Scares You about the Dentist?
People that fear the dentist often have a memory of a painful or otherwise unpleasant experience in a dentist’s office. If the event happened during childhood, then the effects can truly last a lifetime.
Others are fearful of the sights and sounds in a dentist’s office. Sharp metal instruments and the whirring sound of the drill set some people’s nerves on edge.
More reasons that people fear the dentist include:
- Fear of needles
- Having a sensitive gag reflex
- Feeling embarrassed about the condition of teeth
- Feeling claustrophobic in the tight confines of the dentist’s chair
If you do have dental anxiety, try not to let your children recognize your apprehension about seeing the dentist. Kids can easily learn to be afraid themselves if they know you are, too.
Overcoming the Fear
There are several ways your dentist in Washington can help you overcome your anxiety and fear, so you can have the oral health care you need. First of all, today’s dentist’s office is a comfortable environment with a friendly atmosphere. At your family dentist in Washington, you can relax listening to music or even watch a movie during treatment.
One of the best things you can do to overcome your anxiety is see the dentist regularly and maintain a good oral hygiene routine at home. This way, you’ll be able to keep your teeth and gums in healthy condition, and eventually you may even begin to accept the dentist as your friend rather than foe.
Meet the Doctor
Dr. James Mace is a family dentist in Washington, MO. He and his staff are committed to ensuring the health, beauty and longevity of your smile. If need to schedule a dental checkup, contact us today.