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Why the Dentist Doesn't Need to Be a Scary Experience

Why the Dentist Doesn't Need to Be a Scary Experience

If you try everything and anything to get out of going to the dentist, we understand. Know that dental fear is a real thing. However, it doesn't mean your oral health has to suffer. Seeing the right dentist and knowing your options is the best way to ease your apprehensions and receive the care you need and deserve.

Top 3 Reasons Patients Fear the Dentist

There are many reasons patients may fear going to the dentist, but here are the most common causes of their anxiety:

Past Experiences

It only takes one bad experience at the dentist to make you feel weary of your next visit. If you’ve had pain or complications related to a dental procedure you’ve undergone in the past, you may worry that all visits will be the same. While we know that bad experiences can be scary, avoiding the dentist only prevents you from seeking the proper care that you need.

If you’ve had a few bad experiences at the dentist, it may be time to find another. However, if you had one complication related to a procedure, be sure to communicate how you felt about what was done. This allows your dentist to make adjustments during the next appointment.

Pain

No one wants to experience pain, and dental pain can often be persistent and scary. Patients may be concerned that a trip to the dentist means they’ll experience discomfort. Some patients may develop anxiety due to the lack of control they feel when they’re reclined in the dentist’s chair could amplify their fear of pain.

While getting a dental cleaning can be uncomfortable, it shouldn’t hurt. Talk to your hygienist during your appointment and be honest if he/she asks if any areas in your mouth have been particularly sensitive.

As far as procedures such as wisdom teeth removal, speak to your dentist beforehand to ensure you know how to manage any pain or soreness after the removal is over. He/she can also explain to you the options for local anesthesia during the operation.

Embarrassment

When we ask our patients if they floss, we’d be lying if we didn’t see a bit of shame come out. Some patients may feel embarrassed if their teeth and gums aren’t in perfect shape. Avoiding the dentist for this reason, however, won’t make the problem go away — it will make it worse. Remember that your dentist isn’t here to judge you; they’re here to ensure you are healthy, and your dental hygiene is taken care of.

Tips for Easing Your Fear

Don’t let a fear of the dentist hold you back from taking care of your oral health, especially if you’re experiencing pain. Here are a few ways we suggest our patients can cope with their fear:

Bring a Distraction

Often, patients may become anxious due to the noise or feeling of dental tools in their mouth without being able to see them. One great way to distract yourself from your dental work is to bring headphones so you can listen to your favorite music, or bring a stress ball to keep your mind distracted.

Come With Company

Having a friend or family member who isn’t afraid of the dentist accompany you may help to divert attention away from your cleaning or procedure. Simply having someone in the room with you that knows you well and understands your feelings may be enough to ease your worries.

Speak to Your Dentist

You should never be afraid to speak up and ask your dentist or hygienist. At Eastman Dental Care, we believe that every individual deserves to have a dentist they can easily talk to and rely on. We want our patients to feel safe and well taken care of. Communicate your fears or hesitations to your dentist, so they can give you the most information possible and adjust your treatment plan if needed.

Practice Good Dental Hygiene

If you’re concerned about feeling embarrassed about your dental health, the best way to avoid this scenario is to practice good dental health at home. Be sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss — that way, when we ask you if you floss, you can tell us yes confidently!

Sedation Dentistry

Some dentists may administer a small number of sedatives in their office to help keep you calm and relaxed during your appointment. Your dentist may give your local anesthetics or laughing gas (nitrous oxide). Speak to your dentist or receptionist before your appointment to confirm that your dentist does offer this service.

Choose Optimal Oral Health

Feeling comfortable with your dentist is one of the easiest ways to let your worries about getting dental work done subside. At Eastman Dental Care, we’re committed to providing our patients with a lifetime of optimal oral care.

Whether it’s time for your semi-annual dental visit or a dental problem has been bothering you for days, don’t avoid getting a cleaning or seeking dental help. Trust Eastman Dental Care to provide you with the most comprehensive dental care and to ease your fears. We are here to steer you in the right direction of a lifetime of good oral health.


Our friendly staff is more than happy to help you with all your dental needs. Give us a call today at (319) 670-2030 to schedule your visit or receive a free over-the-phone consultation!
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