Are you scared of visiting your dentist or going through a dental check-up? You’re certainly not alone! Estimates of the Dental Fears Research Clinic revealed that five to eight percent of Americans are scared or avoid dentists because of fear. Another twenty percent stated that they would only go to the dentist if it’s an absolute must or necessity.


What Triggers the Fear?

Bad Dental ExperienceAn unpleasant episode with the dentist in the past such as a painful treatment, a dental procedure that went wrong or treatment which resulted in complications could all trigger dental phobia.

Loss of Control.Some people’s trepidation has something to do with the feeling of helplessness when sitting on a dental chair. They feel trapped knowing they don’t have complete control of the situation while the dentist probes on their mouths.

Embarrassment. Some people are ashamed that the dentist can see their poor oral condition.

Pain. For those who have a low tolerance of pain, going to the dentist can be especially trying.


Tackle the Problem and Overcome Dental Phobia!

  1. Acknowledge your fear. Come to terms with your fear or anxiety of going to the dentist as this will help you and your dentist address the issue.
  1. Find the right dentist. Check local listings or ask recommendations from people who’ve gone through dental procedures before. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, it would be good to set up a time for a visit just to get the feel of the place and have a little chat with the dentist.
  1. Be upfront about your fears. Be vocal about your apprehensions that way your dentist can devise a plan that will put you at ease before the procedure is performed.
  1. Bring a companion on your dental visit. Bringing along a family member or a friend during a dental procedure provides added assurance as they can put you at ease. Chatting with someone close to you can put your mind away from what you’re going to go through ahead.
  1. Inquire about possible modifications. Talk to your dentist if there are other ways to go through a certain procedure.
  1. Check if sedative administration is for you. Discuss with your dentist is sedative administration is advisable on the type of treatment you’ll go through.
  1. Practice relaxation techniques. Controlled breathing will help relax your muscles and slow down your heart beat.
  1. Use a noise canceling headphone or distract yourself. Hearing the drill “at work” can increase your anxiety so take your mind off of what’s going on around you by listening to music or by squeezing a stress ball.
  1. Request adjustments to your chair. If you feel too vulnerable of going all the way back on the dental chair, ask your dentist if you can use a pillow for your back or if they can incline the seat only halfway.
  1. Don’t forget to reward yourself. A simple ice cream treat or a weekend getaway will help you associate dental procedures to fun activities.

Your Newport Beach dentist, F. Anthony Rich DDS recognizes that almost all of his patients have apprehensions on or before the procedures but rest assured that he strives to provide you a reassuring atmosphere in his dental clinic. Don’t let your fear hold you back from getting proper dental care and achieving the best oral health.