While everyone knows they should visit the dentist roughly twice a year, many Americans fear the appointment. It is not the majority, but it is a large enough percentage that dentists are aware of the dilemma. Instead of avoiding the dentist, try a few of the top ways to overcome your anxiety.
Be Open and Honest
A good dentist wants to make sure you are comfortable during the procedure, but they cannot do that if they do not know what is going on in your mind. Make sure you talk to them about your fears and let him/her find the best treatment plan to put your fears at ease. It is common for people to simply fear the dentist because of horror stories they have heard (or read), so make sure you are clear as to why you are battling anxiety.
In many cases, fear of the dentist is due to the pain of having teeth cleaned. When you visit the dentist every six months, problems are caught early and there is less time for plaque to build up. When you see the dentist regularly, you will also feel more comfortable with him/her and naturally relax during the treatment. Even if you are not able to be completely relaxed, your dentist will know what your limits are and be able to read the signs for when to give you a break.
If you continue to struggle with anxiety, consult with your dentist to find out what medications you can take prior to treatment. There are also options for the dentist to sedate you at the clinic, whether it is through an IV or inhalation. It is best not to take any anti-anxiety medications prior to your appointment until you have consulted with the dentist to find out what options they provide.
Ask About New Methods
The medical industry is constantly changing and there are new treatments available all of the time. It does not hurt to talk to your dentist about new procedures that are available to help make your visit more comfortable.
In short, with proper communication and regular visits, you and your general dentist can come up with a treatment plan that will help put your mind at ease. If you are unable to feel at ease with your dentist, do not be afraid to consult with another clinic. Finally, if your anxiety is severe enough that you find yourself unable to make an appointment, it would be wise to talk with a therapist so you can keep your mouth as healthy as possible.