We’re sorry! For whatever image dentists have in your mind that cause you to feel concerned or worried about the dentist, we apologize. Now, we want to help make things right and see you coming in for regular dental check-ups and comfortably taking charge of your oral health.
Understanding & Overcoming Dental Fears
The first step to beating anything is to understand it. In every aspect of life, there are things that can alter the way that we see things long-term, but it falls on each of us to maintain those fears in a healthy way. When it comes to dental fears, there are a few key culprits to look at, understand, and, ultimately, overcome.
Okay, before you rule this one out, know that you may suppress a bad memory with a dentist or dental hygienist from your past; this could lead to a fear or aversion of the dentist without you even actually remembering the incident. Whether you remember the cause of your fear or not, the best way to overcome this is to find a dentist you can develop a great relationship with, preferably meeting with them before they look at your teeth, and then (initially) forcing yourself to attend your appointments. Eventually, your fear will naturally subside as you build trust in your dentist’s abilities and care.
Fear of Diagnosis
Probably the saddest reason that people avoid the dentist is because they’re afraid of what the dentist will find. Whether you have tooth pain and are scared of hearing the C-word (or worse), or you’ve just generally fallen behind on your daily maintenance, this quickly becomes a vicious cycle. So, let’s be clear, no dentist will judge you poorly for coming in, regardless of the state of your teeth. Trust us when we say we’ve seen it all, and really are only here to help. There is no such thing as a “bad” diagnosis, only what it will take to get you the healthiest mouth possible. If you feel like you’ve fallen into this way of thinking, search the internet for support groups and forums to see if you can connect with others that have overcome this already.
For many, the simple thought of being at someone else’s mercy is a powerful enough deterrent to keep them away from the dentist. At the dentist, it is difficult to speak and not considered wise to move around, which makes the entire visit especially tough for someone that is uncomfortable with relinquishing these abilities. While there is no quick-fix to deal with this one, the best thing you can do is practice leaning back and opening your mouth in a recliner or other chair at home, eventually allowing the sensation of sitting like that to become more comfortable and less panic inducing. By treating the entire dental visit as no big deal, you should be able to get beyond this feeling. This could be best talked about with a licensed therapist, but that choice is entirely up to you.
Lastly, it is natural to want to protect your face, particularly your mouth and eyes. After all, we need to be able to eat to survive, and, until modern feeding tubes were invented, that happens exclusively through our mouths. Your natural instincts know that you only get one set of permanent teeth, and therefore has a strong desire to protect your mouth. Of course, your dentist is taking protecting your mouth and teeth a step further using preventive maintenance and diagnostic training to keep your teeth around for years to come. While difficult to believe, it is possible to calm your mind’s natural “flight” instinct by consciously trying to relax during your appointment; try calmly breathing through your nose and relaxing your arms, legs, and shoulders, and we’re sure you’ll see a difference quickly!
Contact Us Today
The entire staff at Balboa Victory Dental Office is committed to keeping you calm and comfortable throughout your appointment. Not only are we well-versed in calming even the most anxious of patients, but we are able to communicate in English, French, and Spanish to help the diverse group of patients we see from Encino and Lake Balboa every day.