About 8% of the population has a phobia of visiting the dentist. Another 20% will only go to the dentist during an emergency. Dental phobia is common and may be enough to stop some patients from visiting the dentist at all. Anxious patients may avoid a dental visit even when they have a toothache or infection. These fears may stem from a bad childhood experience at the dentist or a fear of discomfort during treatment.
Rather than putting up with a toothache, why not visit a dental clinic where the staff are trained to put patients at ease? Scott W. Grant, DMD lists what you should look for:
A good dental office should help patients feel relaxed in their waiting area. Therefore, they should make it as welcoming as possible. Comfortable informal seating, pot plants, and cheerful colors can all make a difference to the atmosphere.
TV sets in waiting areas and on the ceiling of the examination room can be a good distraction. Relaxing or beautiful scenes of the forest or beach can be broadcast to provide a calming view while the teeth are being looked at.
For patients who are terrified of dental injections, there’s the dental wand or CompuDent. It’s a computer-controlled way to deliver anesthetic slowly and almost painlessly. The injection system doesn’t look like a syringe, which is helpful for those who are afraid of needles.
For patients who are frightened, there’s IV sedation. IV sedation dentistry is an ideal choice for those with phobias. It doesn’t induce unconsciousness, but will make the person sleepy enough that they won’t care about what’s going on around them.
IV sedation, syringe-free injections, and other techniques can ease fears and make a visit to the dentist as comfortable as possible. It’s best to find a dentist who you can visit comfortably, so you can take good care of your teeth.