Overcoming a Fear of the Dentist

Having a fear of the dentist can sometimes create a barrier that limits a person’s ability to get the proper dental care they need. However, there are steps you and your Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist can take to overcome this fear.

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Steps to Overcoming Dental Anxiety

Okay, so you have a fear of the dentist. But just how bad is this fear?

A couple of decades ago, J.H. Clarke and S. Rustvold of the Oregon Health Sciences University School of Dentistry developed the Corah’s Dental Anxiety Scale to help predict a dental patient’s level of anxiety when going to the dentist. The U.K. has a similar tool call the Modified Dental Anxiety Scale.

Understanding your level of anxiety can help your Century City cosmetic dentist choose appropriate treatment methods and better determine a good dental plan. Choosing the right approach can help you relax.

For instance, for some people understanding each procedure can greatly reduce the fear. This involves having the dentist explain and show what he is going to do before actually doing it. Incorporating signals, such as the patient raising a hand to stop the procedure, can help give control back to the fearful dental patient.

Dental patients with a higher level of anxiety might benefit from talk therapy, as described in this CBS News post. Participants in a study took part in therapy sessions with a psychologist. Many had “full-fledged dental phobia” – an “irrational severe fear” of going to the dentist. Others were merely afraid of injections or the drill. Afterwards, 79 percent had successful dental visits.

Finally, sedation dentistry can offer relief to many. Your Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist offers a medication known as Triazolam about an hour before your dental procedure so you are relaxed during the entire dental process. The drug has almost no side effects or interaction with other medicines you may be taking.

 

Find the Right Dentist

Probably the most important step to take to overcome your fear of the dentist is to find the right one for you. Asking friends and family can be great place to start. It’s unlikely they would refer you to someone they don’t like.

However, whether you get a referral or find someone on your own, be sure to meet with your new dentist and the staff ahead of time. Find out about the practice – length of time in business, hours, location – and the services offered. Watch how the staff interacts with each other as well as with other dental patients. A good team environment generally results in a better patient experience.

Whatever your dental anxiety, be sure to ask your Century City cosmetic dentist for assistance. It’s important to make your dental experience a pleasant one.