Lots of Americans have a fear of the dentist, and unfortunately this fear is based on unfounded claims that the dentist performs painful procedures. It’s not only kids who are afraid of visiting the dentist, and many adults suffer from a legitimate fear that prevents them from seeking proper dental care. Avoiding dental services can take a huge toll on dental health — according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) half of Americans 30 years of age or older have periodontitis, commonly known as gum disease. Poor dental health extends to almost all age brackets, and 25% of people who are 20 to 44 years of age have untreated cavities.
Good dental health is intimately connected to overall health and wellbeing, and bad teeth can have a hugely negative impact on a person’s life. Americans value having a beautiful smile, and spend $1.4 billion on teeth whitening products each year. Decaying teeth can cause serious, unpleasant pain, and it can also lower a person’s confidence. If you are afraid of the dentist or know someone else who is, here are some tips to help you feel more comfortable.
Find a dentist who can see you at each appointment
If you’re wondering how to find a good dentist with whom you feel comfortable, it’s best to start with someone you can see regularly. There are lots of walk in dentists and 24 hour dentists today, but the best dentist will be able to see you for each appointment. It’s important to know your dentist and be confident in their abilities, and you’ll be less nervous if you’ve seen them before.
Arrange to observe a procedure before you have it done
This is probably not possible for in-depth procedures that require sedation, such as gum surgery or root canals, but it’s a great option for simpler fixes like teeth cleanings and small cavities. If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, it’s okay to be nervous about getting your teeth cleaned or having a cavity filled. Talk to your local dentist and see if you can observe a procedure. The office will have to clear this with a patient, and once they find someone who is willing to have you sit in, you can watch the dentist work and see that it’s safe and pain-free.
A fear of the dentist shouldn’t prevent you from getting adequate dental care, so make sure you find someone who makes you feel comfortable and who answers all of your questions. If it’s been a while since your last dental visit, it’s important to make your first time back a positive experience. Most dentists will work with patients to earn their trust, so you should be able to find a dentist who’s right for you.
Do you have any tips on how to find a good dentist? Have you ever suffered from such intense fear that it prevented you from visiting the dentist? If you have any advice on how to find a good dentist, please share your experience in the comments below. Read more blogs like this.