How to Cope with Extreme Dentophobia
The most common reasons that people say are associated with apprehensiveness can vary. Here are some examples of possible solutions:
- You went to the dentist. He did a filling. It hurt. You never went back. Now you’re very apprehensive. It didn’t work out the last time. What should you do now?
Just because it didn’t go well the last time does not mean it will be bad the next time. It can work out well with another dentist. On the other hand, nobody can possibly have a 100% satisfied patient pool. It is not uncommon to experience some degree of discomfort during or after an involved procedure. One unpleasant incident does not mean that the dentist is incompetent.
If you know, your priorities and the dentist is open to your input, feel free to discuss the issue. If you don’t, it will keep happening no matter how often you switch your dentist. If you do not inform, the dentist may not even realize what is bothering you. Remember, good communication helps in resolving many problems. Talk about your concerns. You can decide whether to continue there or not based on how the dentist is responding to your concerns. You can sense if you’re comfortable with the outcome.
- You have an extreme dental phobia. What should you do? You do not go to a dentist until you really have to, i.e. when you’re already in severe pain. Why should you go if it is OK?
Most likely, your phobia is about the pain, and then you’re admitting that you eventually go to the dentist once the pain gets unbearable. So, when you do go to the dentist, you have the following:
- You are experiencing pain anyway – you’re already in trouble!
- You have a cavity or another condition that is too involved. In most of these cases, you lose the tooth or have an abscess requiring Root Canal Treatment or any other treatment.
- You are the one who lacks health.
- In the end, you could not avoid seeing the dentist!
So, you would have been better off going to the dentist, to begin with. You could have maintained good oral health without the agony. If you have dental phobia, try to find a dentist through a friend or family who is known to be compassionate. (Not every clinician has good people skills). You can talk about your fear on the first visit.
Having good communication helps. Amazingly, most patients who do not come regularly due to dental phobias have excellent dental insurance and still do not take advantage. The money is just wasted on the premiums.
- The sound of the drill makes you nervous. What can you do about that?
You can always bring a Walkman, iPod, or any portable audio device (with a headphone). You can listen to music while the dentist does the work. You can avoid the noise without causing any disturbance or distraction.
As suggested by Clevelandclinic, Other solutions include acupuncture, Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), Distraction, Hypnotherapy, and Relaxation techniques, Sedation, etc.
If you have kids, you must take responsibility for having them visit the dentist. They will learn from you about the importance of good oral hygiene and regular care. So, if you do not go for your regular dental visits or if you show extreme signs of phobia, they will invariably follow your path for the worse.
You should not talk about any unpleasant experience in front of them either. Let them figure it out for themselves once they go to the dentist. It’s better to take them to pediatric dentists. Their offices are usually set up in a child-friendly way, and they have perks available to win them over too!