Fear of going to the dentist is very common. The majority of people feel uncomfortable having to go to the dentist to some degree. Unfortunately, about 5 to 10 percent of people experience such great anxiety that they try to avoid receiving dental care altogether, even when in pain and desperate need of dental services. Why do some people develop a phobia and others just feel uneasy about going to the dentist?
The reason why some people develop an extreme fear of going to the dentist is not just pain, as many believe, but more often the lack of control that sitting in the dentist’s chair entails. Patients feel helpless and somewhat exposed. Shame is also a factor contributing to patients’ fears. Healthy, beautiful teeth are valued highly in our society and many people fear being judged when their teeth are less than perfect. In many cases, fear stems from bad experiences in the past. Common complains are that their dentist didn’t pay attention to their needs enough or seemed insensitive and cold. Another reason for some people to fear the dentist is not so much the dentist himself but rather a fear of the equipment he uses. Needles can be an issue for many, as well as the drill. Some are sensitive to the sounds- especially the drill- and smells at the dentist.
What patients can do to make the visit to the dentist less unsettling are simple relaxation techniques, such as controlled breathing, distraction, or bringing a close friend or relative with them. For more severe cases, cognitive-behavioral therapy can help lessen the anxiety. Luckily, dentists have caught on to the phenomenon of dental fear and more and more in the area now promise “anxiety-free treatments”. They realized that in order to make patients get necessary treatment and come back to their practices regularly, they need to provide a caring and stress free environment.
There are several dentists in the Tacoma area offering stress and anxiety free dental services, here are a few:
Tacoma Anxiety-Free Dentistry
South Sound Dental Implant Centre – offers sedation dentistry (“sleep dentistry”) to calm patients and reduce awareness during procedures
Adavnced Dental Care – offers massage dental chairs, TV or music in the treatment rooms, and other comforting services
For more info about dental fear and how to overcome it, go here
To learn about natural ways to relieve anxiety, click here