Posted on: 24 June 2021
The fear of dentists, also known as odontophobia, affects many Americans, both young and old. Depending on the severity of this phobia, people often choose to postpone scheduling dental care appointments and procedures or look for reasons to cancel them once made. Meanwhile, problems related to the absence of dental care, like cavities and gum disease, continue to worsen.
Some of those who suffer from odontophobia may also find unable to take advantage of corrective procedures, such as dental implants. Whether you have an admitted or hidden fear of dentists, the following suggestions can help you learn to overcome your negative feelings so that you can enjoy better dental health.
Opt for relaxation and pain relief options
If you suffer from odontophobia, taking some time to consider the basis of your discomfort can help you find a solution. For some, the problem began as a child who experienced a dental visit that resulted in pair or discomfort severe enough to develop into a full-blown phobia in adulthood. For others, odontophobia may be more related to low pain tolerances, anxiety issues, or even a fear of the unknown.
The good news for all odontophobia sufferers is that modern dental care providers have developed and embraced options that allow dental patients to undergo dental examinations, basic care procedures, extractions, and even surgery in a comfortable manner. These options may include the use of prescription anti-anxiety medications and conscious sedation methods, like nitrous oxide, for patients who want to remain alert, but calm, during the procedure. Patients can also opt for general anesthesia if they prefer to be fully asleep while the dental work is performed.
Using technology to redirect attention
Many patients with dental phobia issues may find that the use of technology can help redirect their attention away from the dental care procedures their dentist is performing. Headphones or earbuds with noise-canceling features can allow patients to listen to music, podcasts, or audiobooks during their procedures as a distracting technique. Tablets or TVs can also be used to help visually pull the patient's focus away from the dentist's movements.
Work with your dentist to develop a workable plan
Solving the problem of odontophobia is easier to do when patients take time to discuss their fears and concerns with a trusted dental care provider. Once your dentist is fully aware of your concerns, they will be able to help you design a dental health plan that takes your anxieties and fears into account and uses available options and techniques to overcome them.
Reach out to a dentist for more information.Share