I’m Afraid of the Dentist. How Do I Get Over It?

Many Americans share a fear of the dentist. It’s so common that it even has a name…dentophobia! Dentophobia is defined as having a fear so strong that you avoid dental visits, often endangering your health. You don’t need to be embarrassed if you are afraid of the dentist, you’re not alone. This fear often results from a bad experience or two when the patient was young and impressionable. Right or wrong, a perceived bad experience can impact feelings for years to come!

How to Get over Dentophobia

Information is power. It’s been said many times over the years and applies to dentophobia as well. If you know what to expect, you’re less likely to be afraid. It’s like a fear of flying. If you know what to expect, you’ll be less surprised by something that may otherwise startle you. Talk to your dental team. The entire team, not just the front desk attendants and your chairside assistant, but to the dentists and hygienists as well. Share your concerns with them and let them know that you have a significant fear. They will often work with you to help you overcome them.

Pain management has advanced over the years to where pain is not necessary when you go to the dentist in most cases. You may feel a little “stick” when receiving a numbing medication, but otherwise the procedure should be painless.

For those that have extreme fear, ask your dentist about sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry allows the patient to either be completely unconscious or moderately “sleepy”, depending on the patient’s needs. This allows the dental team to take care of your needs without unnecessarily stirring up anxiety.

What Happens if I Don’t Get Over It?

Unfortunately, untreated dental conditions can have serious ramifications for other bodily systems. There is a well-known common thread between gum disease and heart disease. Those who suffer from gum disease have been shown to have a two to three times as high risk of heart attack, stroke or other significant cardiac event.

The bottom line…Blaisdell Dental Center will help you overcome your fears. We’ll take the time to tell you exactly what to expect, easing your concerns along the way. Don’t wait…call our office today to schedule an exam and let’s get you back on the road to great dental health!

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