While children are afraid of monsters under the bed or coal in their stocking from Santa, some adults are known for their slightly more rational fears of dentists and doctors. Likely stemming from a prior painful experience, it is easy to understand why a visit to the dentist (especially one for an emergency) can create feelings of anxiety or stress in even the calmest of people.
If you have an upcoming emergency dental procedure or simply want to prepare for when the need arises, make sure to check out the best steps to ensure a pain-free, relaxing visit.
1. Trust Your Dentist
As with any healthcare professional, it is important that you not only find a dentist that you respect, but also that you trust to make the right decisions for your wellbeing. A phobia of pain is common and almost all doctors should be familiar with proper procedure, but finding one willing to accommodate your needs is the first step in overcoming your fear of the dentist's chair.
2. Ask About Sedation
Depending on the procedure, you might be sedated regardless of fear, but if constant anxiety prevents you from even stepping foot in the office, ask your doctor about sedation dentistry. Although you will still be awake for the procedure, light sedative medication is used to promote feelings of relaxation and give you the optimal experience.
3. Prepare at Home
While this step is ongoing, coming in with clean teeth is always the best way to go. A simple teeth cleaning and X-ray is entirely pain-free and proper flossing and brushing will prevent most cavities, decay and gum disease.
If you haven't been the most diligent brusher, don't worry; just be honest with your dentist. You're definitely not the first one, but on the off-chance an additional procedure is needed that day, don't take an anxiety medication beforehand. This could interfere with a sedative or general anesthesia you might receive and could cause potentially negative side effects.
4. Find a Dentist with the Latest Technologies
Advancements in the dental field have caused the complexity and pain of procedures to dramatically decrease over the last few decades. While most dentists should be up-to-date with modern procedures and techniques, it is an important question to ask before sitting down. From lasers that don't cause that anxiety-provoking drilling sound to gum-numbing creams, don't worry, there is a dentist out there with the tools and patience you need to overcome your phobia.
Hello, my name is Jack. I am now 79 years old. As you can imagine, my teeth have taken something of a battering over the years. I lost a couple of teeth in a bar fight, four more decayed and one had to be extracted when it became infected. After losing so many teeth, my dentist suggested that I have dentures fitted. I was worried about this but my dentist was really great. He helped explain the procedure and then did an excellent job. I love my new dentures and I wanted to start this blog to offer help to others.