Going to the dentist is a pain for everyone. We know that even our most pleasant and joyful patients would rather be somewhere else when we’re cleaning their teeth. But many people have more than just an annoyance and uncomfortable feeling about the dentist. According to the American Dental Association, 5 percent of people have an absolute fear of the dentist. This means that they avoid it at all costs. It means that the pain they feel from an oral health problem can be no longer ignored. Their problem will have to make their day to day lives miserable before they even pick up the phone to call a dentist. And even then, every step is difficult.
Dental fear or phobia is a very real thing that can debilitate someone, and dentists and hygienists that deal with fearful patients need to have that be the first thing on their mind when they have a patient with this phobia. But unfortunately, not all dentists are suited well for fearful patients. It’s important that you feel comfortable with your dentist, so don’t be afraid to take your time to find the perfect one for you. Here are a few tips on how to find the best dentist to help you with dental fear.
Ask for Recommendations
As your friends and family if they like their dentist, and most importantly why they like them. Listen for the things you need in a dentist. Are the caring? Easy to talk to? Or are they simply the cheapest around? Understand that everyone has different needs when it comes to who they choose as a dentist, but this is a great place to start.
Do Your Research
If you find a few recommendations, or even if not, take to the internet and start doing your research. Look at their website to see what they specialize in. Look for a dentist that does sedation dentistry, and take a look at their reviews. Sometimes you’ll find people who have reviewed a dentist that may have had a similar story to yours. Learn about how they handled other fearful patients straight from the patient themselves.
Start with a Conversation
When you first make contact, whether it’s via phone or email, pay attention to how the correspondence makes you feel and why. Are they understanding? Do they make you feel comfortable or more stressed?
Get to Know Them
See if the dentist is available for a “get to know you” appointment before you sit in the dentist chair. This appointment would just be a conversation between you and the dentist to get to know each other. You can talk about your problems and your fears and make sure the dentist understands how you’re feeling.
Try Sedation Dentistry
Oral sedation is a great way to keep you relaxed throughout your treatment. While you’re not fully asleep, the time goes by much faster, and you will have no recollection of the appointment itself. This is done with prescribed medication that you take before the appointment, and also nitrous oxide during the appointment.
Remember, you’re not the only one with dental fear. If you don’t feel comfortable with a dentist, keep looking. You will find someone who caters to your needs.