Dental phobias should not be taken lightly. For whatever reason you may feel fear about visiting the dentist, it is keeping you from getting the dental care you need and experiencing the quality dentistry services that come with patient trust. Dr. DeFinnis understands dental phobias can be psychologically and physically harmful to your health, so we have identified some of the causes of dentistry fears, and ways to cope with the anxiety.
Fear of Helplessness
A common anxiety among patients with dental phobias is that they are not in control of their situation. Some may feel they will not be able to communicate to the doctor if they feel pain or discomfort since they cannot properly talk during treatment. To relieve this anxiety, speak with your doctor before your procedure about non-verbal signals you can make to signal you are uncomfortable. For example, raising your hand can indicate to your dentist that you need a break. You can also ask your dentist to explain the process every step of the way so that you are aware of the situation even if you cannot see what is happening. Remember that a dentist can stop any time to let you take a break and regroup if you need.
Fear of Embarrassment
Some people avoid going to the dentist because they are embarrassed of the condition of their mouths. Unfortunately, whatever dental issue is plaguing patients with this dental fear will only get worse without treatment. Putting off treatment because of the condition of your teeth can be dangerous to your health. If you are worried about judgment or criticism from your dentist, you have no need to fear. Dr. DeFinnis is a professional who sees dental conditions compassionately yet objectively. You will not be judged or ridiculed for any reason. Remember that dentists treat patients with a wide range of oral health issues.
Fear of Inadequate Anesthesia
Another unnecessary dental phobia is the fear of sedation dentistry. Some patients worry that the anesthesia will not be strong enough or not work long enough to be effective for procedures. Communication is often the best remedy for dental fears. Your dentist will always check the site of treatment to ensure you have no sensation before beginning treatment. If you need more medication to numb the area completely, your doctor will simply give you more medication or wait longer for the anesthesia to take effect and check for feeling again before continuing with treatment. Any competent dentist will never forge ahead with a procedure that requires anesthesia before checking to make sure you are fully numb.