A fear of the dentist—also known as dental anxiety and dental phobia—isn’t uncommon. In fact, many children and adults alike have dental anxiety and dental phobia. It’s been estimated that at least 9 to 15% of Americans avoid seeing the dentist as a result of this fear; that’s nearly 30 to 40 million people! So many people are putting off their dental care and putting their overall oral health at risk by avoiding the dentist, and that makes us concerned. We don’twant any of our patients to feel uncomfortable with a dentist, so here are 3 ways you can begin to overcome your fear:
1. Admit your fear to someone you can trust.
One of the best ways to get over a fear of the dentist is to admit your fear and talk about it with someone you trust or anyone else you feel would be an appropriate outlet. Simply talking about it will help you feel calmer about it.
2. Set aside a day to go to the dentist.
Request a day off of work to go to the dentist, or pick a day solely dedicated to going to the dentist. This way, when you visit the office, you’re not already stressed from work or anything else going on in your day. The extra stress could heighten your stress and fear at the dentist’s office.
3. Let the dentist office know about your fears.
It’s very important that you let the dentist know if you’re feeling any anxiety about being there. Don’t neglect to tell us because you feel embarrassed about your fear, it’s completely normal. Dentists have plenty of experience with anxious patients, and they’ll be able to help you relax and feel as comfortable as possible before your exam and cleaning.
A fear of the dentist shouldn’t prevent you from receiving the dental care you need. Our job is to help protect you and your oral health by providing dental care, so if you’re feeling nervous, let us know; we’ll do anything we can to make you feel at home!