5 Tips for Overcoming Your Fear of the Dentist

5 Tips for Overcoming Your Fear of the Dentist

Going to the dentist is a thought that can strike fear in the hearts of even the most rational people. If the sound of drills, fear of pain or even just the dislike of someone’s fingers in your mouth raises your heart rate, here are some things you can do to make your visit as stress free and comfortable as possible.

1. Choose your dentist carefully.

Finding a dentist you feel totally comfortable with can help quite a bit. Try to find one who will discuss your dental health in terms that you can understand and explain the reasons as to why any procedures must be done. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and even take notes if that makes you feel more at ease. Many dentists even provide brochures and other literature on the proposed treatments.

2. Block out the noise.

The drill sounds bother you? If they do, you’re normal! See if your dentist can provide you with some headphones to listen to relaxing music. If they don’t have them, bring your own.

3. Ignore the needle.

Fear of pain is a biggie in terms of phobias and even the toughest person can be reduced to tears when they see the needle or feel something not all too comfortable. Most dentists use a topical anesthetic to ease the discomfort of an injection and some will even wiggle your lip to distract you a little. But, did you know that closing your eyes and not looking can really help you get comfortable?

4. Count the cost.

Believe it or not, the cost of going to the dentist can turn off a lot of people. The insurance scene is rapidly changing and it’s leaving large numbers of people without dental insurance. Because of this, many offices are now offering some great payment plans and some very helpful third-party credit lines that are designed for only medical and dental costs. See if your office offers these types of plans.

5. You can always ask for the strong stuff.

In more extreme cases of dental phobia a pharmacology approach is sometimes indicated. The most common drug for this is Nitrous Oxide, known popularly as laughing gas, but you may also be prescribed a stronger sedative like Xanax or Halcion. It goes without saying but always discuss possible medications with your dentist and tell them what you have taken.

Don’t let possible dental problems go unchecked because of your fears. Remember that your fears are real but rest assured that your dentist will know how to address them and will be able to treat you both comfortably and successfully.

About this Experts Contributor: Milton Zweig, DDS is the owner of Zweig Family Dentistry and is a practicing dentist in Newbury Park, California. A graduate of USC, he has been part of the Newbury Park community for more than 17 years.

As of September 10, 2014, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.

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