A visit to the dentist can be a scary experience. You are not alone, 8 out of 10 people say that they get nervous just before visiting a dentist. If you are scared yourself, what about your kids? They should be terrified too. The problem is a visit to the dentist is inevitable if you want to get relief from toothache or you want to prevent tooth decay.
Common dental fears include the thought of the excruciating pain people experience during a tooth extraction. They also fear the needles (local anesthetic), because the very thought of a needle piercing your gums can put off the bravest person. Although you are sedated, the thought of a drill working on your tooth is enough to give you the shivers. Another fear is what the dentist will think of your mouth upon examination, because most mouths are not a pleasing sight.
Here are some common phobias and some dental anxiety tips to overcome them:
How to Overcome the Fear of Needles
It is not just the dentists who use needles. Any general physician uses needles and a prick is quite common and causes only mild pain. However, the thought of a needle in your gums can be frightening. You can have a frank discussion with your dentist and tell him or her about your fears.
Dentists are quite aware of such phobias and fears and know how to handle them. Most dentists apply a pain-killer gel in the area that they are going to work on/prick with a needle. The effect of this gel can last for at least 2 hours or more and you won’t feel the needle prick, or the pain caused during treatment.
Fear of the Drill
The shrill sound of the dentist’s drill can send shivers up the spine. To make matters worse, you can’t speak when the dentist is drilling a tooth, so you can’t tell the dentist if you are experiencing pain. Don’t worry, dentists are experienced and keenly watch your reactions. Moreover, the local anesthetic (gel or needle prick) will numb the area and you won’t feel a thing.
At most, you will feel a mild vibration and the only discomfort is saliva collecting in your mouth (which the dentist asks you to spit out constantly) If you can’t bear the shrill sound of the drill, wear a pair of noise-cancelling headphones so that you don’t hear a thing. Listening to your favorite music has a calming effect on the nerves and the procedure will be over by the time the song ends.
Fear of Pain
Most people are mortally afraid of the pain they believe a dental procedure can cause. Rest assured that you are not the only person who is too scared to go to the dentist. There are many like you and dentists are quite aware of this fear syndrome.
Dentists prescribe some sort of dental anxiety medication that calms the nerves and helps you relax. Moreover, no dentist would start any procedure without giving the necessary pain-killing medication.
Most fears are quite unfounded and once you get over the initial trepidation things should work out fine. There are a range of anesthetics and pain-killing gels that cause total numbness in the area, which often extends to the lips and cheeks as well. The effect is so profound that the numbness lasts for at least half hour after the procedure is over.
Moreover, the dentist will prescribe some pain killing pills to take in case the pain persists after an extraction or filling. If your fear is uncontrollable, you may want to look up a dental phobia certified dentist who knows how to counsel you before starting the procedure.
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