At Lovett Dental Piney Point Village, our goal is to ensure that each and every patient receives outstanding dental care in a safe and comfortable environment. At the same time, we realize that being anxious or afraid in a dental office is common for many people. However, unlike other fears, dentophobia can lead to significant health problems when you postpone or avoid needed general dental care.
Types of Dentophobia
There are various types of dentophobia that patients may experience. These types can include:
- The dental practice. Some patients experience anxiety about the sights, sounds, and smells encountered at a dentist’s office. Even routine cleaning can provide anxiety.
- The actual dentist. Patients may be afraid of the actual individual treating them.
- Fear of pain. It is not uncommon for patients to fear the pain associated with various dental treatments.
- Gagging. When a patient is afraid of choking, the idea of having their mouth open for a long time can lead to dental anxiety.
- Needles. It is very common to fear needles, and many procedures require the use of needles in specialty dental treatments.
4 Tips for Overcoming Dentophobia
How can you overcome the common experience of dentophobia? There are various methods available that can help overcome your fears.
1. Meeting with your dentist before your appointment
Yes, you can meet with your dentist without actually having a procedure performed. This could be in the form of an initial consultation or to help proactively relieve pre-treatment dental anxiety. Such a meeting aims to help you become completely comfortable in the dental office and develop a rapport with your dentist. These factors can help ease your dental anxiety.
2. Signaling for a break
It is not uncommon to experience some slight discomfort whenever your dental hygienist is cleaning your teeth. The odds of this happening can increase whenever the sole opportunity to have your teeth flossed occurs at the dentist’s office.
Feel free to let your dental hygienist know if you are experiencing any discomfort or anxiety while cleaning your teeth. You can agree upon a signal for a break before your dental exam or cleaning. Knowing that you have the ability to stop the process at any time can really help alleviate anxiety.
3. Handling Needles
For many patients, the issue with their dentophobia is a fear of needles. Just the sight of long needles that will go into the mouth can be frightening. One thing to keep in mind is that a numbing agent is delivered before the shot. The fear is related to knowing that a needle will be injected into the gums than any actual pain you may experience.
You can help by taking some long, deep breaths and receiving ongoing feedback from the dentist. If you find that your problem is simply seeing the needles, you can request that they be kept out of your line of sight and that you receive a warning before a needle is used.
4. Practice sound oral hygiene at home
You can reduce the frequency of your dental visits by simply brushing and flossing your teeth regularly at home. This will reduce your chances of developing tooth decay or gum disease that would require dental visits in the future. Just knowing that you are doing everything that you can at home to protect your oral health goes a long way to relieving any dentophobia that you may otherwise experience.
Also, by regularly flossing, your gums will not be as easily irritated or bleed at your next dental appointment.
Call Lovett Dental Piney Point Village For Your Next Appointment
At Lovett Dental Piney Point Village, we can help you overcome your dentophobia. We are here to make the entire process as easy for you as possible, so don’t hesitate to share your concerns. Please call Lovett Dental Piney Point Village at 832.430.7364 to schedule your next appointment.