If you have been avoiding a checkup with your dentist because of fear or anxiety, you are not alone. As many as 9 to 15% of Americans avoid going to the dentist because of their fears, which adds up to roughly 30 to 40 million people (Colgate.com). People fear the dentist for a host of reasons, but it’s easy to understand that many have a fear of pain, blood, potentially being sedated or having surgery, to name only a few.
Should you be one of the millions of people in this country that fear being examined by a dentist, we have a few ideas that could help you to overcome your anxiety for good.
Acknowledge the Problem
The first step in overcoming your fear is to acknowledge why you are feeling this way. Whether you are afraid of pain, the potential of surgery or even the cost of a procedure, it is important to discover why you feel this way and begin to take the proper steps to overcome it.
Explain Your Fears to Loved Ones and Those at Your Dentist’s Office
Once you have discovered the root cause of your anxiety, it is important to let the people who are closest to you know you are having these feelings. Together, you can come up with a plan to bring to your dentist. Your dentist’s office will normally be used to patients having these issues and should be accommodating of your needs.
Accept That You Still May Have Anxiety, but Understand That It Is Natural
If you’re like most people, simply stating the fears you have won’t magically make them go away, but it will allow you to better cope. Once you have explained your fears to your dentist and those closest to you, you can take the next step and go in for your surgery or checkup. Now that you have made you fears clear, your dentist will be more cognizant of your problems and should make sure you are as comfortable as possible when you go in for your visit.Remember, the only way to overcome dental anxiety is to work at it, and letting your anxiety get in the way of proper dental care can have lasting repercussions for your oral health. Reach out, ask for help, and get the care you need. Your smile will thank you for it.