Have Dental Phobia? How To Make Your Annual Cleanings Bearable

Have Dental Phobia? How to Make Your Annual Cleanings Bearable

If you keep putting off a teeth cleanings and get anxious thinking about a dental visit, you may have a dental phobia. Colgate says that millions of Americans have dental phobias. Some phobias are caused by bad experiences or because the patient fears pain. Some people develop dental phobia because they feel like they don't have control over the situation, or they are ashamed of their poor health.

While going to the dentist can be hard, it's vital to go so you don't develop severe oral decay and disease. Whatever the reason for your dental phobia, there are ways for you to overcome it. Here are some tips to help.

Bring a Distraction

Your dental phobia may be eased if you can focus on something else while the hygienist cleans your teeth. While you may think it's rude to put on headphones and listen to music, many dental hygienists don't mind. In fact, some offices even have TV sets in their rooms so the patient can be distracted by a movie or the news. Just let your doctor know about your fears, and they will usually accommodate you. You could also bring a small object, like a stress ball, to keep your hands busy and release any tension.

Call the Dental Office and Share Your Concerns

While you may have had a bad experience in the past, your future appointments don't have to be like that. Many dental staffs understand that many of their patients are anxious. When you call to make your cleaning appointment, be sure to let the dental office know about your dental phobia so they can plan accordingly.

When you go to your appointment, the hygienists will be aware of your fears. They will carefully explain the procedures beforehand and let you direct the pace of the appointment. If you start to feel any discomfort or pain, let them know and they should stop.

Consider Sedation Dentistry

If your dental phobia is so bad that being awake during the appointment isn't an option, then sedation dentistry can help. Many offices offer

  • Oral conscious sedation
  • IV consicious sedation
  • General anesthesia

Oral conscious sedation is the lowest level of sedation. You will not be asleep, but the medication will help you to relax. Some patients are able to become so relaxed that they are able to sleep. During IV sedation, you will be asleep during the procedure; and if you go under general anesthesia, you will receive the highest level of sedation.

If you have a history of bad drug interactions, then sedation dentistry isn't a good idea. Lastly, you  will need someone to be able to drive you home after your appointments, should you take this route.

For more information on assuaging your dental phobia, contact a dentist, like one from Persona  Dental, in your local area.