No one gets excited about going to the dentist. This is because, for most people, dental treatment involves some element of pain. It is important that you engage in regular dental check-ups in order to avoid long term painful and expensive treatments that could have been prevented. But this is not so easy for those who have a well-developed fear of the dentist. It is possible, though, to get on top of that fear. You don’t have to approach every dental appointment with fear and trepidation. Here is how to gain mastery over your fear of the dentist.
Commit to yourself to conquering this fear
Contact several dental offices and explain your fear of the dentist to the person on the other end of the telephone. You will know by the way that you are received whether or not that particular dentist is sensitive to patients who are fearful.
Decide which office is best suited to you, your fears and your potential treatment. Schedule an appointment for an examination, a cleaning and a set of full-mouth x-rays. Now relax and try not to think about your upcoming appointment.
When you arrive at your appointment, check in with the receptionist right away, before you have a chance to change your mind. When you are in the examination room, take slow deep breaths and think about the happiest day of your life. The examination won’t last long at all.
When you are given your treatment plan, be sure to discuss with the dentist and/or office manager all of the options they offer for controlling fear and pain. Some dentists offer nitrous oxide to relax their patients during dental procedures. For more involved dental procedures, many dentists will prescribe a tranquilizer to be taken just prior to an appointment, thus ensuring that a fearful patient will remain relaxed during his dental treatment.
Tranquilizers can also be administered intravenously, and leave the patient in a sleep state during his dental procedures. In this event, the patient will need to have someone else lined up to drive him to and from his appointment because the intravenous sedatives will render the patient unable to drive.
After you have undergone a couple of dental procedures, a fearful person will begin to feel relaxed, without the need of any sedatives. It’s a step-by-step process. By walking through those fears, a little at a time, fearful patients gradually learn that dental treatment only lasts for a little while, involves little to no pain and that the fear surrounding it can be conquered. Once you have conquered your fear of the dentist and see how much better your smile has become, you realize that it was well worth the effort.