Odontophobia, dentophobia, fear of going to the dentist – whatever you want to call it, it is very real for some people. I even once heard a woman say she would rather bare a child than go to the dentist. Statistics show that still a whopping 50% of the population seeks dental care only when they are in pain! Well, dentistry has come a long way in 50 years and –not to minimize those who have dental fears – there are many new methods and treatments which should help minimize even the most anxious of patients.
Here is some info that may help:
- If you want to “steer clear” of dentist in Mesa AZ as much as possible – then first, and foremost, practice good oral hygiene. That means it would be wise to eliminate sugar-flavored soft drinks, chewing gum or sucking mints containing sugar, not brushing or flossing and failing to use fluoride toothpaste. (You should still then visit a dentist twice a year.
- If you don’t have a dentist, do your homework. Ask around for referrals and then be prepared to ask any new dentist specific questions.
- When you visit your dentist, inform him/her of your fears. Don’t expect them to read your mind and know that you have a fear of visiting them. Most dentists will do their best to be kind, patient, caring, gentle and painless – and I assure you that they will try even harder if they know you are leery of taking one step into their office.
- If a patient has extreme dental phobia, there are dentists who can administer conscious or IV sedation or uses nitrous oxide. Find a dentist who is trained in these areas.
- Patients should never self-medicate prior to a dental appointment without informing the dentist. Not doing so poses a danger if the dentist administers anesthesia or other medications.
- Many dental offices are equipped with technology to help keep your mind off the procedures and focused on watching movies or listening to music and keeping you preoccupied while the dentist performs his magic on your mouth.
- Remember your dentist is your friend – not your adversary. Other than your twice-a-year visits, your dentist really doesn’t want to see you in his/her dental chair. Your doctor wants you to enjoy beautiful and healthy teeth and gums.
- Have happy thoughts – think how much more beautiful your smile is going to be after your visit to the dentist.
Go ahead, you can do it. Pick up that phone and start planning your next visit to the dentist. Don’t call after it’s too late and you end up spending more time, money and possibly discomfort than if you had made that appointment. Your mouth will thank you for it.