Think about your dentist for a minute. They’re probably a pretty nice person, right?
That may be true, but if you have dental phobia, you have trouble even getting to the office no matter how nice your dentist is. This means you end up avoiding them, and this can lead to severe dental problems down the road.
Many people may occasionally be a little anxious about going to the dentist, but it’s not an overriding concern in their life. A dental phobia, however, is a much stronger form of fear. Phobias are actually classified as an anxiety disorder — they can cause extreme distress that affects your daily life.
Dental phobia is usually caused by a past traumatic experience with a dentist. Maybe you had a procedure that caused a lot of pain, or maybe the dentist or hygienists were unkind and rude. You may also be worried about bad news regarding your oral health — you think the dentist is going to find something terribly wrong.
While phobias can be difficult to overcome, a couple of strategies can help you work through your fear to complete a dental appointment.
Exposure therapy is a technique that involves gradually working up to a regular dental appointment. You start by visiting the dentist’s office without getting an exam; you can just sit in the waiting room for a few minutes to get a feel for the place before you go home. On the next visit, you can get an X-ray, and then the next time a partial exam, until you’re comfortable coming in for an entire cleaning and exam.
Many dentists also offer sedation dentistry to promote relaxation and calmness as you visit the dentist. Various options include:
During one of your exposure therapy visits, the dentist and their team will be able to talk with you about your sedation dentistry options so they can develop a custom plan for you.
Your oral health is important, so now that you’re aware of how we can deal with your dental phobia, it may be worth calling Tropical Dental Care in Tomball, Texas, to talk further. You can contact our office at 281-524-3399 or use our online appointment request form to secure a time to meet.