I’m Too Scared to Visit the Dentist – What should I Do?
For many people visiting the dentist can be a really stressful idea – the image of someone poking and prodding at such a sensitive area can send their spine shivering and those stomach butterflies buzzing. But going to the dentist Navan doesn’t need to be an uncomfortable or expensive experience as some dentists also accept medical card patients too and having regular check-ups to keep on top of your oral health is very important.
Why am I so scared?
It has been reported that dental fear or dental anxiety affects 36% of the population with another 12% suffering from extreme dental fear, now that’s a really large number of people. The fear of the dentist can come from numerous sources – maybe your parents or carer were also scared and passed the phobia on to you, or maybe you had a terrible experience as a child. Even seeing images on television of bad dental experiences can be enough to leave us suffering anxiety, but whatever the reason, first accept that it’s fine to be afraid, your feelings are valid.
What can I do to help myself?
So you’re scared, but you need to go to the dentist – you’ve got a throbbing pain in your tooth and it’s completely debilitating. First find a dentist who has good reviews. A welcoming dentist will make all the difference to your experience. You need a practitioner who is ready to take the time to listen to your concerns before beginning any examination.
When you’ve found a dentist maybe try and get a visit into the surgery before you go for your appointment – we know this isn’t always possible, but if it is this could really help soothe any further anxieties you have about entering a new space. You could meet the dentist to talk about how you’re feeling beforehand and if you don’t feel comfortable talking, you could write it down to be given to the dentist ahead of time.
Finding an early morning appointment slot could really work in your favour so you don’t need to spend the day worrying about the appointment. Taking a friend or relative with you, having a friendly face next to you could be a really big support and the dentist doesn’t mind you having a supporting person with you even when you go into the treatment room.
A really helpful little trick is to arrange a hand signal with the dentist before you sit down so that at any point they can stop what they’re doing. This signal doesn’t need to be complicated, just raising your hand could be sufficient and could give you enough control of the situation to feel safe. You can also take headphones to distract you from any unpleasant noises or even an eye mask to try and zone out from the atmosphere.
We know sometimes emergencies happen and you won’t have the opportunity to ease yourself in gently, but if you do, maybe just go for a clean and polish to test the waters. Small steps are always useful. We would recommend that you try and start out on your journey to positive dental health now and don’t wait for the toothache to start.