Odontophobia affects many patients and keeps them from seeking dental treatment that they desperately need. If you suffer from fear of the dentist, you are certainly not alone. Many people develop anxiety about the dentist due to negative past experiences, fear of pain, and discomfort from helplessness or loss of control while in the dentist's chair. It is important to find ways to confront the factors that trigger your anxiety so that you are able to formulate a plan to manage it. It is important to make it to your dental appointments twice a year, or more often if your dental health calls for it. Here are three ways to address your odontophobia.
Schedule your appointments during quiet times in the office.
Your dental fear may make it necessary for you to ask the dentist to slow down so that you can calm yourself before he can continue examining you. Explain this need to your dentist's office and work with the scheduler to find an appointment time when the office is quiet; this allows the dentist to give you more individualized attention, and you can ask him to pause while you collect yourself. This also allows you to develop a more trusting relationship with your dentist, which may make it easier to go to future appointments.
Wear a sleeping mask and headphones during your appointment.
Some people find their dental anxiety triggered by the sights and sounds associated with a dental appointment. If you know that these are some of your triggers, then you can manage them by wearing a sleeping mask and headphones during your appointment. If you find a sleeping mask too restrictive, you can wear sunglasses instead. In terms of headphones, you can completely block out the sounds of your appointment with noise-cancelling headphones, or you can listen to an audiobook or playlist.
Use sedation dentistry to relax completely during your appointment.
If you are completely unable to cope with your nerves during your dentist appointment, then sedation dentistry is a good option for you. Sedation dentistry consists of taking medication or receiving it through an IV in order to help you relax. This might mean entering a twilight state or being completely sedated. Talk to your dentist in order to coordinate the appropriate option for sedation dentistry. This allows you to get through an appointment consisting of something as simple as a cleaning or even something as complicated as a root canal. For more information about dentistry, contact a practice such as Quality Dental Care L.L.C.