Are you afraid of the dentist? Do not worry, you're not the only one. Fear of the dentist, also known as odontophobia, is a frequent problem that affects a large number of people to a greater or lesser extent. This phobia can be caused by a painful or traumatic experience in the past, or simply because we are faced with an unknown experience of which we have some preconceived negative ideas. However, avoiding going to the dentist can have serious consequences for your oral health and you should not let fear be an impediment, especially since there is a solution. Keep reading!
Causes of fear of the dentist
- Previous painful or traumatic experiences
- Uncertainty in the face of the unknown and lack of information about the procedure
- Feeling of vulnerability in the dental chair
- Fear of the sounds and smells of the dental clinic
How to overcome fear of the dentist
- Talk to your dentist and explain your fear and concerns, ask them to explain the procedures, and if you still feel uneasy, ask about sedation options that may be used for you. li>
- Find a dentist you trust, most of them have extensive experience treating patients with odontophobia, as it is a very common phobia in both adults and children.
- Focus on breathing deeply and relaxing during the procedure. Today dentistry is very advanced and anesthetic techniques will prevent you from feeling pain or discomfort during a procedure.
- Being afraid of the dentist is not a reason to be ashamed, it is something very common, if it makes you feel better, find a person you trust who can accompany you to the office.
- Remember that your dentist is there to help you, he is a highly trained professional for the procedures he performs and also has a lot of experience in caring for patients with fear and anxiety.
- Always keep in mind that your oral health is important and the longer you delay your dental appointment, the more complex or prolonged treatment is likely to be required. It is best to prevent.
If your fear is intense, it is advisable to seek professional help and consider cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as an option, which consists of a psychological approach that has proven to be effective in treating this phobia. CBT focuses on changing negative thought and behavior patterns related to fear of the dentist. In the first instance, the therapist will help you identify and understand what are the negative thoughts and beliefs that are contributing to the fear. Later, the theraphist will work on replacing them with more positive and grounded thoughts and beliefs. In addition, you will learn relaxation techniques and you will be gradually exposed to the feared situation, in this case a dental treatment, with the aim of helping you overcome your fear.
Sedation in the dental clinic: an aid to reduce fear and anxiety
We have previously mentioned sedation as an option for dental treatment. We recommend that you discuss this option with your dentist so that he can evaluate it according to your particular case. Do you want to know what it consists of? There are different types of sedation, each with different levels of effectiveness and risk, which can help you face dental treatment more calmly:
- Oral sedation : Consists of taking an oral medication before dental treatment. The medication will help relax you and reduce anxiety, but you will remember and be aware during the procedure. This type of medication always requires a prescription and prior evaluation by the professional.
- Intravenous (IV) sedation : Medicine is given through an IV to relax you and reduce anxiety. The level of sedation can be precisely adjusted as required by each case.
- General anesthesia: The patient is completely asleep during the procedure. It is the option with the highest risk and is only used in more complex procedures that require more work time, also requiring an anesthesiologist.
In conclusion, fear of the dentist is a frequent problem that can affect many people of different ages. To cope with it, there are effective ways to address and overcome this anxiety. Communication is very important and talking to your dentist about your fears and concerns will be a relief, because he will be able to provide you with the best options that can help you feel better and more comfortable during your dental treatments. Postponing your dental appointments may seem like a temporary solution, but sooner or later you will have to go to the office. The best decision is to prevent, take care of your oral hygiene and go to the dentist regularly, this will be of considerable benefit to your health. Remember that at Dentaltix we have everything to take care of your teeth and gums, we invite you to visit our section of products for patients where you will find brushes, toothpastes, dental floss, mouthwashes and much more.
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