Being scared of the dentist is so common it’s surprising people don’t dress up as dentists for Halloween. If you’re scared of the dentist, know that you are not alone! An enormous percentage of the population suffers from mild dental anxiety. Others may suffer from dental phobia, a more serious condition causing excessive fear. Whatever the reason behind your fear, your oral hygiene and health are essential. Education in modern dentistry may make your visit to the dentist less frightening.
At Dental on York, we have a lot of experience in treating people with dental-related anxiety. In this article, we give you some insights into modern dentistry and how it’s a lot less scary than you may think.
Common reasons behind being scared of the dentist
People have different reasons for fearing the dentist. Some of the most common reasons we come across are listed below:
- Fear of pain
- Lack of information
- Past experiences
- Fear of closeness with strangers
- A loss of control
- Sensory sensitivity
- Fear of needles
Reasons not to be scared of the dentist
Many people look at the dentist as a place that causes pain and discomfort, but really it’s the exact opposite. Dentists exist to help you have your best oral health possible and to relieve and prevent any pain or discomfort.. In modern dentistry, many concerns of the past do not exist.
Below we explore reasons why you don’t need to be scared of the dentist:
Your dentist wants to help you
Dentists deal with people all day, every day. They know all the telltale signs of a nervous or phobic patient. Their entire profession revolves around making a positive difference in people’s lives. Most dentists have experience in treating anxious patients. So, they know how to make you feel as comfortable as possible. An experienced dentist will be able to help you get through your dental appointment with as little stress as possible. Remember, your dentist is there to help you and listen to your concerns. If you’re scared of the dentist, it’s a good idea you mention it when you call to make your appointment.
Modern dentistry is a lot more comfortable
The modern dental industry has evolved to cater to the prevalence of anxious patients. Clinics have created calmer, more relaxing environments. Auditory or visual stimulation is often used to distract patients. Televisions, radios, or soothing music are all tools dentists use to help you feel relaxed. A great dentist will also keep you updated every step of your appointment, so you always know what’s going on and know what to expect.
It’s also worth mentioning that the dental tools that were once loud and frightening sounding are now a lot quieter and more discrete!
Through innovative technology, dentistry is far less invasive
Modern dentistry is far less invasive. Innovative technology has made treatments quicker and simpler to complete. With preventive dentistry being such a focus of modern-day dentistry, you can avoid the need for extensive procedures in the future. Major dental work is becoming less common as modern treatments can stop decay or infection before more complex issues arise. Some new state-of-the-art technologies making care more efficient and comfortable are:
- Digital x-rays are less of an ordeal than the old uncomfortable machines.
- Intraoral cameras can detect minuscule cavities.
- Stronger and more durable crowns, fillings, and dental implants.
- Instant 3D printed crowns, or dental caps, to avoid a second visit.
These advancing technologies are the future of dental care. Visits are likely to become more effortless as years go by.
Sedation dentistry is an option
A relief to many people who are scared of the dentist is the introduction of sedation dentistry.
Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is a commonly used form of dental sedation. Nitrous oxide helps to put you in a calm and relaxed state during a procedure.
Intravenous sedation involves a sedative administered via a drip. You’ll technically still be awake but you’ll feel no pain at all and will likely not remember the procedure.
The next step is a general anaesthetic. In this state, you’ll be asleep throughout the whole procedure.
The longer you wait, the worse it can get
There is nothing to be gained out of avoiding the dentist. If you’re anxious about visiting the dentist you’ll actually be doing yourself a favour by going more often. Sounds strange, right? Not only will this help you get used to the environment, but regular visits can help to make sure problems are treated in the early stages. This means you’ll likely avoid the ‘scarier’ complicated treatments in the future.
Poor oral health is far scarier than the dentist. For example, untreated gum disease can lead to infections that can spread to your bone, causing tooth and bone loss and the need for surgery. An untreated cavity can lead to nerve damage and infection in the jaw needing a root canal. Your dental health has even been closely linked to heart problems. This is just to name a few.
Dental on York provides a relaxed and comfortable environment
There’s no reason to be ashamed of fearing the dentist. At Dental on York, your positive experience is one of our top priorities. Our dental team has encountered countless patients with anxieties and phobias. We have been carefully trained to provide the most comfortable process possible. We have some advice for overcoming dental anxiety which you may find helpful to read before you book your appointment. IV sedation is also an option at our dental practice.
If you’re still feeling nervous and want more information or would like to book in for your stress-free appointment at our Sydney dental clinic, please contact our friendly team.