Three Ways To Help Move Past Your Fear Of The Dentist

If you begrudgingly admit that you have some degree of anxiety about visiting the dentist, it's important for you to realize that you're not in a group by yourself. Rather, one estimate suggests that one in five Americans suffers from a high degree of fear about seeing the dentist. Although you might feel better about putting this important form of healthcare out of your mind, avoiding regular checkups can have a detrimental affect on your oral health and your overall health. Getting over your fear of visiting the dentist might not happen overnight, but there are a handful of ways you can make the experience a little more palatable.

Find Appropriate Distractions

You can often handle a child's tentativeness about visiting a health professional by keeping the child distracted, and this approach can work for adults, too. Many dental clinics have built-in distractions for patients in the form of TVs positioned above the dental chair. If your clinic doesn't have this perk, you can find a suitable replacement in the form of a smartphone or tablet that you can use to listen to music or watch a video during your checkup. Don't be embarrassed about taking this approach; if it will get you into the dentist's chair, it's well worth it.

Talk It Out

Many adults know that talking about their fears can help lessen the worry, but it can be easy to forget this life lesson if you've got serious anxiety about visiting the dentist. Don't be afraid to share your reservations with the dentist and the dental hygienist at the time of your appointment. These professionals are not only trained in helping patients, but vastly experienced in the subject, given the high percentage of people who are anxious about checkups. Your dentist will listen to your concerns and then share some insights that might help to alleviate your fear.

Ask About Sedation

If you feel the only way you'll be able to get through your dental appointment is through the use of sedation, it's time to explore this topic. Many clinics offer sedation to their patients, and finding the right degree of sedation for you can help you avoid the anxiety that comes with the appointment. For mild degrees of anxiety, you can opt for a light sedation that helps to calm you; for higher degrees, a stronger sedative that lets you sleep through the appointment can be helpful.

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