Do you have a fear of dentist visits? To know that you aren’t alone is little consolation, but understanding your fear and learning to manage it will be.
For a smile to be your best accessory, it has to showcase a perfect set of teeth that brushing and flossing alone cannot provide. Dental problems which affect the health and appearance of teeth and require dental treatment include:
- poor teeth alignment
- discoloured teeth
- receding gums
- tooth decay, and
- impacted wisdom teeth.
Many people, however, choose to live with their dental problems because of their irrational fear of dentist visits. Quality dental practitioners take the time to eliminate these fears so that you can get the appropriate treatment.
Causes of Dental Fears
People may dread trips to the dentist due to a number of reasons, the most common being a past painful or traumatic experience.
People who fear pain see a dentist only when discomfort arising from infection or tooth decay becomes intolerable. Bacteria present in the gums and teeth cause inflammation around the infected area which can feel painful at the slightest touch.
This leads to the incorrect assumption that contact from any dental instrument during treatment causes severe pain. Dentists are aware of the pain factor and are as concerned as you are about eliminating or managing it.
Some dental procedures are actually painless or only carry slight discomfort these days as a result of the development of painless techniques such as dental lasers, air abrasion units, and strong numbing gels.
Dentists may also prescribe pain medication and antibiotics which help reduce pain after local anaesthesia wears off. It also helps to calm nervous patients when the dentist tells them what to expect and what steps to take before and after a dental procedure to reduce pain.
Sensitive people can avoid seeing a dentist for fear of being scolded, humiliated or hearing unwanted remarks about their teeth. Unpleasant comments diminish their confidence so that they avoid seeing a dentist even when they need help.
Bear in mind that your dentist treats a lot of problematic teeth everyday and yours may not be the worst he or she has seen. But if your dentist is insensitive to your feelings then you may have to find a more compassionate one rather than avoid seeking treatment at all.