Fear of Dentistry
Dentophobia is a fear of dentists. For some the only fear about going to the dentist may be the bill that they get after their appointment. However for many people going to the dentist is the cause of a lot of anxiety. Some only feel a little anxiety about going to the dentist while others experience a full blown panic attack when in a dental office.
In some cases people with severe anxiety about going to the dentist will put it off for long periods of time. Missing dental appointments for regular checkups and cleanings can lead to cavities, abscess teeth, gingivitis and periodontal disease. In most cases the treatments for these things are much worse than going in to see the dentist for regular cleanings and checkups.
There are many different reasons some people might have dental anxiety. Some of them include embarrassment, loss of control, gagging and feeling numb. Others reasons tend to stem from bad experiences in the past or the sound of something touching someone's teeth. These are all valid reasons for being afraid of dentists. This article will address these concerns and give some helpful hints on how to deal with a fear of dentistry.
Some people are afraid of what the dentist may think of their teeth. They are afraid of the lecture that the dentist may give them about poor oral hygiene and their embarrassment makes dental anxiety kick in. This is a very common concern for those with dentophobia. The truth is most dentists only care about fixing up your teeth and making them better and more comfortable for you. You can be assured that the dentist has seen worse teeth than yours. If all else fails you could consider going to a dentist in a different town that you are not very likely to ever see again.
Dealing With Dentist Fear
In many cases people feel a lack of control while in the dental chair. Lying back in a chair with someone is hovering over top of you, puts you in a vulnerable position as it is, when you add in spraying air and water into your mouth and sometimes the inability to swallow this becomes a very valid concern. One of the things you can do to cope with this is explain your fear to the dentist before he starts to do any work on you. Tell him that if you raise your hand slightly that you would like to take a break for a second or two to regain your composure.
There are occasions when people fear going to the dentist because they have a very bad gag reflux. One of the things you can do to help with this is to take very deep breaths through your nose. Concentrate on breathing through the diaphragm and watching your stomach rise and fall. This helps you to breathe easier which makes you less likely to gag. Concentrating on your breathing will also help to easy your anxiety.
Many people who suffer from asthma do not like the feeling of being numb. The tingling and numbness tends to remind them of the sensations that they feel when they are beginning to have an asthma attack. The key thing to remember here is that while your tongue may feel swollen while it is numb, it is not. The numbness that you feel will not cause the airways in the throat to close.
If your fear stems from a bad experience in the past or the sound of the drill and instruments touching your teeth, the best thing you can do is talk to your dentist about it. Explain to the dentist what happened and ask him to be especially gentle. It is a good idea to take a CD player or an mp3 player with you to drown out the sounds. In many cases this can help you to feel calmer, especially if you are listening to music that you enjoy.
Remember to get in for you regular cleanings every six months. This will help to cut down on the amount of dental work that you will need to have done in the future. Dentists are not scary people, in fact most of them have some of the best stories you will ever hear. Try to relax and be calm. Remember to breathe. In most cases dental procedures only last a couple of hours and then they are finished and you can go about your day!
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