It is estimated that as many as 7-10% of people do not go to the dentist because they are afraid. Dentophobia is the fear of going to the dentist, and it is a very real thing. Fortunately for the health of our teeth, there are ways to overcome that fear.
Why the Fear?
Some of the more common reasons given for dentophobia include:
• A bad experience with the dentist as a child
• A pre-existing anxiety disorder
• Fear of losing control
• Fear that more extensive work will be required
The last reason is especially harmful because it is self-fulfilling. Failing to address problems early through regular appointments can lead to serious oral issues later.
There are ways to overcome any anxiety. Nitrous oxide has eased anxiety for many patients, but it isn’t for everyone. More dentists are turning to music for patients to enjoy during procedures. We offer a fun and inviting atmosphere to help calm any nerves.
If the sounds of the dental office cause you anxiety, you could also try noise-cancelling headphones. If you prefer to go “low-tech,” try replaying your favorite movie in your head, or imagining you are in a favorite place like a forest or on the beach. These thoughts and images will soothe your nerves and help you to have a better experience.
Let us know if you have any fears. We will work with you to ease your anxiety. And, as your fears decrease, it will become easier to make regular appointments to keep your mouth and teeth healthy.