Are You Afraid of the Dentist?

You are not alone. Estimates from experts say that as much as 75% of all people are afraid of the dentist or having dental work done. This fear varies in degree from one person to the next, with some people merely feeling anxious while in the dentist's chair and others who are so terrified of the dentist that they have a panic attack at even the thought of making an appointment.

The most common reason for anxiety or fear about dental visits is a bad experience in the past. This could be a particularly painful episode, like having a dentist start drilling a tooth without enough Novocaine to numb it, or an extremely adverse reaction to having a tooth pulled. In some cases, it may not have even involved pain but perhaps a dentist had a lousy bedside manner when your were a child or even that you overheard someone else having difficulties while you were in the dentist's office.

A little bit of anxiety or nervousness is normal. After all, none of us look forward to discomfort or pain and it is fairly typical for there to be at least some discomfort after having a tooth filled or wisdom teeth removed. Once you've felt that discomfort once, your mind thinks of that experience the next time you need to go to the dentist.

That's where your Dentist comes in... It's Dr. Mader's goal to make your visit as comfortable as possible and provide you with options to help you with your dental fear, but you've got to give us the opportunity to help!

Unfortunately, when it comes to dental anxiety, it can lead to postponing or even foregoing the necessary dental care a person needs. When a person doesn't take care of their teeth properly, small problems become big problems rather quickly. For example, a tiny cavity that could take 15 minutes to fix can escalate to the point where the tooth must be removed. Naturally, this reinforces the fear of the dentist because there is a lot more discomfort involved.

There are several things that can help with dental fear. Learning more about what is going to be done and why can go a long way towards alleviating fears for potential patients. You can research online or at the library to educate yourself on the various procedures. You could also ask your dentist to explain things to you in layman's terms, and perhaps to show you pictures or diagrams that can show you what is going on with your teeth.

Talking to your dentist about your fear is always a good idea. A good dentist will not only understand your anxiety but will do everything he can to help you to overcome your fears. If the dentist makes light of your concerns or isn't sympathetic, it is time to look for another dentist. Dentists are trained in how to put their patients at ease and how to make things easier on an anxious patient.

Dentists can help by providing music or television in the examination room. Some will even have headsets available and encourage you to bring your own favored selection of music. These things help to focus your attention on something other than what is going on in your mouth and often by covering the sounds that go along with dental work, much of the anxiety can be relieved.

The dentist may give you an oral tranquilizing medication to help relax you before a procedure. In more extreme cases, or when there is extensive work to be done, IV sedation dentistry could be the answer. With this, you are given medication to relax intravenously. This not only is the fastest way to get into your system but can relax you much deeper than oral tranquilizers can. Many people don't even remember the procedure after having IV sedation dentistry work done.

Contact South Bend Dentist Dr. Jeffrey Mader right now to discuss your concerns and see how we can help put you at ease while giving you a healthy smile.

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