Visiting the dentist is one of the most anxiety-triggering things a person can go through. Over a third of the UK population (34%) have said they suffer from moderate to high nervousness when visiting the dentist.
Even more, over 50% of patients have some sort of low-level functioning anxiety towards dental appointments reports Dr Solanki from Kissdental in Manchester.
So, why is the dentist so scary? Putting off attending your appointments can severely impact your oral health and could even affect the rest of your body. But, one bad experience or hearing a friend’s horror story could put you off attending your appointments for a very long time.
Many of us fear the dentist for various reasons, but not all those reasons are just. We’ve explored the most common excuses people give for not attending their dental appointments and have done our best to debunk them to help those who need the reassurance most.
1. Dentists will judge you
Dentists undergo years of rigorous and detailed training specifically so they can neutrally and clinically analyse and diagnose any problems with your teeth. Their personal opinion simply doesn’t come into it.
Plus, you might be experiencing problems with your teeth and think they’re much worse than they are. And, although it’s cliché, your teeth really won’t be the worst-case they’ve ever seen – no matter how bad you think they are.
2. Treatment is painful
There are so many alternative pain relief methods to choose from these days. You could have some form of IV sedation which is super safe and very common depending on the treatment.
Dr Nick Fahey treats many of his nervous patients under sedation when performing dental implant surgery, “It’s more common than you might think, we have patients ask for sedation and wish they’d known about it years before,” he said.
Either way, if you’re currently uncomfortable talking to your dentist about your fear, find a dentist who goes the extra mile with nervous patients.
3. Dental phobia can’t be cured
You’re not born with a fear of the dentist. That means something has happened to make you fearful.
However, it also means your fear can be reversed with carefully selected treatments, a willingness from you to improve your situation and cooperation from a dentist who understands your fear – like a Dental Phobia Certified one.
You can also help yourself to get over your fear by reaching out to people in similar circumstances. There are online communities and resources to help you better understand what you’re going through.
4. Dentists are cold
Dentists are not cold-hearted pain-lovers. They’re professionals with a job to do. A lot of them won’t feel like they have time to make small talk during an appointment because they have so many patients to see.
“Many dentists don’t consider how small talk can make a patient feel more comfortable because they often have a packed schedule of appointments and want to focus on giving the best treatment they can,” said Dr Kalpesh Bohara, a Dental Phobia Certified dentist at Dental Suite.
On the other hand, your dentist should acknowledge any voiced concerns you have and make more of an effort to put you at ease if you let them know you’re uncomfortable.
If they seem uninterested in you or shun any small talk, that’s the time to find your Dental Phobia Certified dentist who can make you feel more comfortable and relaxed during appointments.
5. It’s okay not to see a dentist
It is not okay to skip your appointments. It doesn’t matter how great you think your teeth are. You’re not a dentist. And, you have no way of telling what early signs of a problem you’ve missed that a dentist might’ve spotted.
Get Help Easily
The fact of the matter is if you’re putting off visiting your dentist or making an appointment, not only will your teeth probably get worse, but so will your anxiety.
Contact Dental Phobia today or use our online directory to find a dentist who understands your stresses and has proven to be extra caring and friendly with nervous patients.
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