Overcoming Your Fear of the Dentist
Overcoming Your Fear of the Dentist
It is normal to have some degree of apprehension before you visit any dentist or doctor. For some people, their apprehension goes beyond the norm and prevents them from achieving the proper care they need.
Up to 8 percent of all Americans suffer from dental anxiety, fear or phobia. Dr. Ben Kacos, Shreveport’s dentist, reveals that most cases of dental fear can be attributed to one or more of the following factors.
- Loss of Control: Some people develop dental fear because they feel helpless while sitting in a dental chair as the dentist probes inside their mouth. Such people may feel trapped by the close proximity of the dentist.
- Pain: Some people have a pain threshold that is lower than that of other people. Such people may develop fear of the dentist because they associate dental visits with pain.
- Embarrassment: Some patients may develop fear of the dentist because they feel ashamed or embarrassed when the dentist comes very close to them and examines the interior of their mouth.
- Previous Experience: People who have undergone an unpleasant dental visit in the past are also likely to develop fear of the dentist because images from that past experience keep replaying in their mind once they think about going to see a dentist.
Tips for Overcoming Dental Fear
You should not resign to living with your dental anxiety, fear or phobia. Dr. Ben Kacos suggests that you can consider some of the following ways to overcome or reduce your dental fear.
Identify and Acknowledge Your Fears
The first, and perhaps most important step, is to become aware of your dental fears. Shreveport’s dentist recommends that you write down any feelings that you experience each time you think about visiting a dentist.
Writing down those fears will not only help you to pinpoint what exactly you feel, but you will also be better able to discuss your fears with a dentist once you show or explain to them what you noted down.
Select the Right Dentist in Shreveport
One major way to overcome your dental anxiety is by selecting the most appropriate dentist to resolve your dental health issues. Dr. Kacos explains that not every dentist is good at treating patients who suffer from dental anxiety.
Do your research and identify a dentist who has a good reputation for helping patients overcome their fears. Start by asking family and friends for recommendations, and call dental offices in Shreveport, LA, before visiting one. During the call, let the dental office know your concerns.
Select Ways to Reduce Dental Fear Gradually
It isn’t enough for you to find a dentist who will treat your dental health issues despite your dental fear. The right dentist will work with you to find the means to overcome your dental fear.
For example, Dr. Ben Kacos, Shreveport’s dentist, normally starts patients suffering from dental anxiety off with minor dental procedures, such as consultations or dental cleanings. These minor procedures usually take a short time and give the patient a chance to get used to sitting in a dental chair and having a dental health professional look around in their mouth.
The dentist can then proceed to more advanced procedures in subsequent visits as you get more comfortable with receiving dental care.
Come With a Companion
We asked our friend Dr. Taher, Dhoon, a dentist in Greeley, CO, about fear of the dentist. Dr. Dhoon says you can reduce or even overcome your dental fear is by asking someone to accompany you during your dental visits. This is especially effective for younger patients or those who wish to retain some form of control during dental procedures.
Your companion can also be with you in the operatory (if possible) so that they keep you company and take any necessary decision, such as asking the dentist to take a break, when they notice that you are showing signs of heightened dental fear.
Consider the Use of Sedatives
You can also ask Dr. Ben Kacos about sedation dentistry if this may help you. Sedation is particularly helpful for people with a low threshold for pain and those who suffer from dental phobia. Sedatives can be administered either orally or intravenously. The dentist in Shreveport, LA will assess your needs and select the most appropriate form of sedation to keep you relaxed and calm during the dental procedure.
As you can see, several measures can be taken to help you to overcome, or at the very least reduce, your dental fear. Contact Dr. Ben Kacos today if you suffer from dental fear and he will do everything possible to help you to deal with that condition before it stands in the way of getting the dental care you need.