Top 5 Reasons People are Scared of the Dentist

May 13th, 2017 | By | Category: blog, General

female patient covering mouth because of dental fearFor some people, attending a dental visit is accompanied by sweating and a racing heart beat. According to the Dental Fears Research Clinic, roughly 5-8 percent of people avoid scheduling and attending their dentist visits due to overwhelming fear. It’s not necessarily the fact that we’re scared of the dentist, but rather we’re afraid of the feelings that arise when we attend our dental visits. There are some misconceptions about dentists that lead to this dental fear, but sometimes the fear comes from a past experience that went wrong. Some people believe that they will experience pain while at the dentist’s office therefore they refrain from going.

Our team wants to help make your dental visit as relaxing and pain-free as possible. Call our Fresno, CA office today to schedule your appointment with Dr. Alex Denes. Call 559-297-1294.

 5 Reasons We Avoid the Dentist

1. Fear Stemming from Bad Memories

Avoiding dental anxiety is easier if you had good experiences going to the dentist when you were growing up. In most cases, if your parents and childhood dentist helped create a safe and fun environment when you first went to the dentist, then chances are you won’t experience as much dental anxiety as an adult. However, this isn’t the case for everyone. The dental industry was not always as patient-centered as it is today, so not dental visits were pleasant. Sometimes we carry those memories of bad experiences with us into adulthood and they result in irrational fears.

If you’ve had bad experiences in the past, talk to your dentist about what happened to you and how it affects your access to oral health care today. Most dentists are familiar with these scenarios and will have suggestions for ways to get the care you need without dredging up bad memories.

2. Fear of Receiving a Lecture

You’ve probably been in the situation in which you go to the dentist and are told quite bluntly that you’re not flossing as much as you should be. This is the case for many Americans, but nobody wants to be lectured, so we avoid the situation. If we believe that we will be lectured, we may refrain from attending our dental appointments.

If you find yourself in this situation, remember that most dentists only want to help you take care of your teeth. Dentists and hygienists today are not here to judge you, but to try to move you in a positive direction. Together you can strategize ways to help you get back on track.

3. Fear of a Lack of Control

For some people, lying back in a chair with someone’s hands in their mouth simply induces panic. Unfortunately, it’s imperative that our dentists examine our mouths and this means that they will have to put their hands and instruments in there. This can cause us to feel an uncomfortable lack of control, since we are vulnerable in such a compromising position.

If you are uncomfortable relinquishing control to dental professionals, but would like to seek dental care, talk to your dentist about dental sedation. Many patients find medication can help them relax in situations like these.

4. Fear of Needles & Injections

With many dental procedures comes the need for dental anesthetics, to pre-empt potential discomfort. However, if you’re someone who is afraid of needles and injections, simply being in the same room as a needle may actually cause you more discomfort than it does relief. Although some of the dental equipment may induce irrational fears, it can help to remember that the patient usually doesn’t experience discomfort when the dentist uses these dental tools.

If you’re someone who feels intimidated by needles and injections, talk to your dentist about ways to feel calm around these necessary tools. If we know a patient is triggered by the appearance of needles and other shiny tools, we can minimize the visual presence of tools, or offer sedation to help you avoid the situation altogether.

5. Fear of Pain

Many people associate physical pain with seeing their dentist. It’s important to relax and remember that your dentist is here to help manage your tooth pain, not add to it. Dr. Denes wants to give you the best experience that he possibly can. Talk to him about your fears and apprehensions, so that together you two can create a worry-free experience.

Overcoming Dental Anxiety

Dr. Denes understands and sympathizes with you when it comes to your dental anxiety. When you schedule your dental appointment, be open and honest with him about your fears and past experiences at the dentist. If you’re afraid that going to the dentist will elicit pain, discuss your pain tolerance with our team, so that we can accommodate to your specific needs. It’s okay to ask questions about your dental procedure and we’re more than happy to walk you through the steps, in order to ease some of your dental anxiety.

Our team looks forward to giving you the most worry-free dental visit possible. Schedule an appointment with our Fresno, CA office today to talk about ways to reduce your dental anxiety. Call 559-279-1294.

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