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Talking Points

Coping With Your Fear of the Dentist

Dentists in IdahoMany people dislike going to the dentist, and feel anxiety whenever they have to. Sometimes, the fear is bad enough to be considered a phobia. This leads to them not getting the dental care they need, since they won’t schedule an appointment unless the pain is too much to bear.

Dental phobia has several possible causes. The patient might be afraid of pain, since they had a poor dental experience early on in their life. They may dislike injections, or just hate how they lose control and their personal space.

How can you deal with dental phobia? Dental professional says that it is not something that you should just force yourself to ignore; as irrational of a fear as it might be, the symptoms are debilitating.

Coping with Dental Fear: A Few Alternatives

If you only have a mild case of dental fear, it’s usually enough to prepare yourself and take some control over the situation. Here are a few things you can try.

  • Find a dentist who understands phobia and knows how to deal with it.
  • Try getting used to routine cleaning before working up to bigger treatments.
  • Agree on a signal to stop the treatment and give you a chance to rest.
  • Distract yourself with music.

The most popular way to cope with dental fear, however, is sedation dentistry. When a patient is sedated, they will feel completely relaxed during the procedure. There are different levels of sedation, which affects how conscious you will be. Minimal sedation leaves you fully conscious but in a relaxed state, while deep sedation means you will practically be asleep.

Lastly, general anesthesia is a last resort, and is usually only used during major dental surgery. You will be completely unconscious during the procedure. This is rarely ever necessary, since sedation is a very powerful tool. But if you have a high tolerance to the drugs, then general anesthesia may be the only option.

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