Research shows that about 20 percent of American adults have some amount of fear about going to the dentist. Good oral health is part of maintaining good overall health, so you shouldn’t let your fear of the dentist keep you from obtaining care. If you are one of the people who put off going to the dentist because it just causes too much anxiety, here are some tips to help you make it into the dental chair.
Meet the dentist
Make a consultation appointment to meet the dentist, because establishing a relationship will help you select the right provider for your needs. Look for someone who makes you feel at ease.
Acknowledge your fears
You’re not the only one out there who has anxiety about going to the dentist. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge that you have fears, and don’t hesitate to let your dentist know about your qualms. Choose a dentist who understands that some patients experience fears and is willing to help you through them instead of neglecting your feelings.
Come prepared for your appointment with an iPod or MP3 player containing your favorite tunes. Music can help cover the sounds of office and equipment noises that make you nervous, and can provide a calming distraction.
If your anxiety is severe enough that you put off your checkups or procedures, ask your dentist about dental sedation options. A mild sedative might be what you need to get you through dental visits, or nitrous oxide may be necessary while you undergo dental work. Sedation dentistry is a very effective solution for many patients with dental fears.
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