Are you one of those people who are just plain afraid of the dentist? Don't feel bad -- you're in good company. Up to 10% of Americans have a phobia about going to the dentist, even though the process is generally painless with only a bit of mild discomfort. Here are a few things that you can do for your next dental visit to ease your mind.
Bring Something to Listen To
Your dentist already knows that you're not going to be in the throes of an entertaining conversation while his hands are in your mouth. He won't mind at all if you toss in your headphones and start listening to something. Choose carefully. You can select music that always picks you up -- which you can listen to passively -- or you can select something more complicated, like an audio book, that you need to really concentrate on. Either way, your attention will be elsewhere.
Ask Your Doctor for Some Help
If you truly have a fear of the dentist that you can't shake, consider asking your doctor for a prescription. Doctors will often give you a very low dose of an anti-anxiety medication to get you through particularly trying times. After all, it's not like you have the option of just not going to the dentist at all. You can also ask your dentist for "laughing gas," but you should always do this in advance. Not all dentists offer gas anymore. Some dentists will offer anti-anxiety medication in the office, but it usually depends on the clinic.
Don't Wait Until It's Too Late
If you feel a shooting pain in your tooth, it's time to go to the 24 hour dentist -- now. If you wait until it's too late, some very bad things can happen. As an example, you can develop an infection, which will make it difficult for numbing injections to work. Or you might need a root canal when before a filling would suffice. All of these things will build upon your fears and create a more negative experience than is necessary.
It's understandable why people are afraid of dentists -- it's an awkward, uncomfortable situation, and there's the constant fear of pain. But modern dental techniques are almost entirely pain-free. If you still have a fear of the dentist, you may want to educate yourself further on the dental procedures of today. In this case, knowing more may actually cause your fear to subside.
For more information, contact Milan Simanek DDS or a similar dental professional.