Dental implants can make a smile look fabulous – I know I have them. However, if you are just thinking about getting them, you may have a lot of questions. You may be wondering how smoking affects implants, whether or not wine will stain them, if they can be whitened or other concerns. I also know from experience that it can be intimidating to ask some of these questions to your dentist. In my dental implant blog, I am going to answer the questions that can be hard to ask. I hope you find the info you need in this blog and that it guides you to the right decision about dental implants. Thanks for reading!
Dental fear is simply defined as the fear of visiting the dentist, whether for treatment or for a simple checkup. The University of Adelaide explains that around one in six Australian adults experience dental fear, and that for around one in twenty, this fear has a significant negative impact on their life. This can lead to treatment and checkups being delayed, making problems more difficult and costly to fix. However, there are some steps you can take to manage dental fear before a checkup.
Plan Your Checkup Carefully
If you are careful when planning and scheduling your checkup, it is more likely to go smoothly. For example, you may want to plan your appointment early in the morning to limit the amount of time you spend worrying about the checkup. You may also want to plan something fun afterwards to reward yourself for facing your fears. You might want to wear a special perfume with a scent that calms you or bring your own soothing music for the appointment—you will know best what might work for you.
Ask For Help
One of the biggest steps towards overcoming your fear and having a successful dentist checkup is asking for help in advance—if nobody knows you are struggling, it's hard for them to help you! This may consist of asking a friend or family member to attend the appointment with you to give you moral support. However, you may also want to speak to your dentist about how they can support you during the appointment. For example, you might want to discuss hand signals you can use with your dentist, or you may want them to explain what they are doing in detail while they work. As the NHS explains, if you are really anxious, you may want to ask about dental sedation and how it could calm you during an appointment.
Evaluate The Source Of Your Fear
For people who experience dental fear, planning coping strategies to deal with a single checkup or treatment is a huge step. However, only by analysing the source of your fear can you begin to overcome it entirely. WebMD lays out some of the reasons that people are afraid of the dentist, explaining that the most common reason is a previous bad experience with a dentist, stemming from a fear of pain or from a fear of loss of control. Think deeply about why you are afraid, and think of ways to combat it—for example, if your childhood dentist frightened you, might it help to begin again at a new practice with a dentist of a different age or gender? If you are afraid of pain, would it help to discuss pain relief with a dentist in advance?
Dental fear can be difficult and inconvenient and can make a simple dental checkup seem like a huge milestone. However, by planning your appointments carefully, calling in the help of loved ones and trusted professionals and actively working to combat your fears, you can experience a successful dentist checkup and take control of your oral hygiene.