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Overcoming Fear of the Dentist

Posted on May 14th, 2015 by Dr. Nikoo Daftary

It’s common for people to fear something; a frequent fear for people is fear of the dentist. Fear of the dentist often stems from a childhood memory. A child might have had to get multiple shots or felt the discomfort of drilling. However, techniques and tools have improved to provide minimal discomfort. Going to the dentist is necessary for a healthy mouth, and it’s possible to get over the fear of seeing one.

Choosing a Dentist

Certain dentists have a knack for putting their patients at ease. For instance, instead of sticking a needle straight into a patient’s gums, the dentist might inject a small amount of Novocain to help ease the pain of the initial shot. Some dentists provide a television for people to watch, and there are many other techniques can dentists use to put their patients at ease.

Get to Know the Dentist

Dentists should take time with their patients; however, it’s a good idea to get to know the dentist to help to ease fears. Talking to a dentist for a little while allows patients to get a sense of their dentist’s personality. This helps patients to feel more comfortable in the office.

Taking Charge

Some fear results from the unknown. Taking charge of dental care appointments helps a patient to feel more calm by anticipating what each appointment entails. For example, decide ahead of time how many fillings to take care of. If a patient is to get a shot to numb one side of the mouth, it makes sense to handle all dental work for that side of the mouth in one visit. This decreases the amount of discomfort a person experiences. However, if a person has a lot of anxiety about visiting the dentist, stick to a routine cleaning before anything else. Having control over what happens helps patients to feel more at ease.

Phobia

Some fears are actual phobias. In the same way a person learned to fear something, people have the ability to unlearn fear. Seeing a psychologist will help with a phobia by desensitizing the patient to the thing they are afraid of. This helps patients to gradually ease into seeing a dentist and remaining calm once they visit the dentist.

Stress Relievers

Bring something to the appointment that will occupy the hands. For instance, bring a stress ball to the appointment to squeeze. Bring other items to help keep the mind off of the appointment. For example, bring a good book to read while in the waiting room. Reading something funny will help to naturally diffuse stress. Stress relievers help to regulate breathing as well. Yoga teaches many useful breathing tips to maintain tranquility.

Take a Buddy

Taking a trusted friend or family member helps to ease anxiety. This is especially true if they’re not the timid type and is funny. Some dentists will allow other people in individual rooms to provide moral support.

Rewards

After successfully visiting the dentist, decide on something fun as a reward. Buy a new outfit, get your favorite meal or go for a massage. Decide on something else that is fun for after the next appointment.

Sedation

It’s possible for patients to be sedated if they are unable to relax in any other way. Patients might have the option of a pill beforehand or be placed under general anesthesia.
Visiting a dentist is essential to discovering how healthy a mouth is. Beyond oral health, visiting a dentist helps to discover overall health. Besides necessary procedures, the good news is that people only have to see them twice a year.

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I was a little hesitant to come here after reading some reviews on Yelp but decided to give it a try after being reassured by Millie (who is really sweet and pleasant) over the phone, and I'm really happy I did. The office is beautiful, modern, and clean, something that really makes a difference for me going to the dentist. They were very prompt, I didn't have
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Art of modern dentistry is an amazing place to get your teeth cleaned! Dr. Daftary is wonderful and funny. They have the best financial experts to help you get the treatment you need. I would recommend their services to my family and friends!
~ Megan Henley, Chicago, IL
I've been a Art of Modern Dentistry patient for almost a decade at both the South Loop and Lincoln Park locations. Currently I go to the LP office and have to say these are the bets dental pros in Chicago. From the hygienists, to the doctors, to the office staff everyone is professional, nice, and wonderful at their job.
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I was blown away by the warm energy that radiated from the staff. They made sure that I understood everything and knew what the cost would be before we moved forward. Each person took the time to sit with me and explain the process. These people clearly love their job, their co-workers, and have a passion for assisting their clients with their dental health.
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