There are many ways to control your fear of the dentist, but not all techniques work for everyone. For many people, their dental fear is a deeply personal experience with varying levels of trauma and anxiety. Dental fear, or odontophobia, usually begins in childhood. It could stem from a negative experience in the dental office, which usually involves some level of physical pain.
People are so terrified that a good number would rather hold a tarantula than to visit a dentist. If the fear of dentists trumps the fear of spiders, it must be a serious issue indeed.
Why Not Just Go With Sedation?
We all hear about how people with dental fear should choose to go for sedation. While sedation is a sure way to calm a patient, it does not address the problem head on. Sedation also requires an extra fee, which only increases the expenses of the affected patient.
Some people do not even have the courage to enter a dental practice and will put off treatment until it escalates into something worse. Since sedation requires the precise dispensation of sedative drugs, the patient must at least be there in person. How can the dentist sedate them if they have never even set foot in a dental practice?
How do Real People Cope With their Dental Fears?
Harvard Medical School asked their readers how they cope with their dental fears. Many of the answers focus on distracting the patient:
- Listen to upbeat, positive music or an audio book to balance out feelings of dread.
- Arrive on time; waiting at the practice only fuels anxiety.
- If the dentist has a television available, watch some shows to keep you distracted.
- Long, deep breaths calm you and prepare you for your treatment.
While these tips will not work for everyone, they do work for the ones who suggested them. Try different coping techniques to see what works for you. Assuaging your dental fears is crucial if you want to maintain your oral health.