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Nervous about Dental Visits? Try These Tips!

Nov 18, 2015

By Dean George



Like it or not everyone fears something.  President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself” - but experiencing fear is part of being human.

Some people fear heights (Acrophobia), others fear loud noises (Ligyrophobia), and others fear enclosed places (Claustrophobia).

For any reader fearing long words (Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia), we’ll do our best to allay your fears and keep this article short.

The fear of dentists, or dental visits, is called odontophobia, also known as dentophobia.  People fear dental visits for different reasons. For example, maybe they once had a bad experience at the dentist, like Abraham Lincoln did.  Or maybe the dentist scene from Little Shop of Horrors left a bad taste in their mouth.

Others may fear visiting the dentist because:

  • They fear what the dentist may find during an exam and what treatment may be needed
  • They fear needles and injections
  • They fear the side effects of anesthesia
  • They fear the physical closeness of someone working close to their face

Dental Wire previously reported that some studies have shown that laughter is good medicine for dental fear. The Swedish study quoted in that article noted that optimism and creating an atmosphere that permits patients to joke with dental staff helps patients better manage stress during visits.

If you experience any of the fears above, try this at your next dental visit:

  • Confide in your dentist that you’re nervous and explain why so they can help make you more comfortable.
  • Have your dentist explain what they’re going to do and why. Knowing what’s going to happen before it happens can lessen anxiety and help you feel less nervous.
  • Use relaxation techniques such as focused breathing.
  • Visualize being somewhere else and/or doing something else.
  • Picture in your mind how good you will feel to have a healthy smile.
  • Pray.
  • Ask your dentist if you can listen to music with headphones or watch a movie or TV on a mobile device during treatment.
  • Use hand signals to let the dentists know if you need a break or are experiencing discomfort.

Another fear people have concerning dental visits is the cost of treatment. Our dental plans can help offset that expense whether you’re getting a routine cleaning and tooth filling or a root canal or dental implant. Click here to see plans available in your area.

Sources: WebMD.com, National Institute of Health
Photo source: csmonitor.com


Copyright 2015, Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC

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