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Tips on How to Overcome Your “Dentist Phobia”.

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If you are one of up to 75% of adults who experience some degree of dental fear there are now techniques and options to help you conquer your fear and get the dental treatment you require.

Here are some suggestions you can try on your own to build up your confidence and quiet your fears. Also included are solutions like Conscious IV Sedation that your dentist can offer to make your dental appointment, if not enjoyable, then at least doable.

Tips to Help You Overcome “Dentist Phobia”-

  • Establishing trust - ask the Dogwood Dental office staff to set up an appointment for you to talk – just talk – to the dentist. They are more than familiar with people who are afraid of the dentist and are happy to help in any way they can. Talk to the dentist, explain your fears and see if you feel comfortable with their responses. Can you see yourself trusting this dentist? Now you are familiar with the office, the staff and the dentist you may feel ready to take the next step, booking an appointment.
  • NOTE: Remember that dental procedures have greatly improved in the past few years. Modern dentistry offers new methods and treatment options specifically designed to make you feel comfortable. It won’t be at all the same as it was when you were a child.
  • Booking the appointment - your dentist can explain the entire procedure to you beforehand, as well as walking you through step-by-step while the procedure is being performed. You always have the right to fully understand the work being done on your teeth. You are in control!
  • Establishing your boundaries - Talk to the dentist about stopping if you're uncomfortable. Many dentists establish a “STOP” signal with their patients. This puts you in control of the procedure and alerts the dentist if you're uncomfortable or need to take a break during the appointment.
  • Go slow - Dentists are happy to go slow with nervous patients. If possible, make sure your first visit is a simple one like a cleaning & checkup. This will help build a trusting relationship with the dentist before going in for a more difficult procedure.
  • Choose a relaxation method – sometimes it’s as simple as breathing deeply and trying to relax. Some dentists recommend practicing relaxation techniques (ask them for information) before and during the appointment. Acupuncture can be helpful or you may prefer listening to music or simply scheduling your appointment first thing in the morning, before the stresses of the day build up.
  • Is Conscious Sedation for you?Dr. Lathangue is certified to administer this type of sedation where medications are administered through an IV. The greatest advantage of IV Sedation is that you can be made more comfortable as required during the procedure. Also when the medications are used in an IV Sedation they are more effective than when taken orally.
  • Regular visits establish a routine - Visit your dentist regularly to increase your level of comfort and to prevent serious oral health issues from developing. As a fearful patient, just going for a check up can be nerve-wracking but the more you go to the dentist for routine cleanings, the easier it becomes (yes it does!) and the more likely you are to avoid larger problems that result in complicated (read scary) procedures.

Please contact Dogwood Dental Health Center for more information or to book your appointment.