Who's Afraid of the Dentist?

Fear of going to the dentist is actually a serious phobia that many people struggle with. Whether you or someone you know suffers from this fear it's important to know how to address it. Fear of the dentist can come to anyone who experiences emotional or physical trauma at their appointment or when they hear of others' terrifying experiences at the dental office. As with any other phobia, recovery is a difficult path, but it is possible to regain trust in your dentist. Here are some steps to help with recognizing and overcoming this fear.

Learn the signs of dental phobia.

Do you or someone you know experience any of these symptoms when faced with a dental appointment?

  1. Have a difficult time sleeping the night before a dental appointment.
  2. As you sit in the waiting room of the dental office you feel increasingly anxious and nervous.
  3. You start to cry or feel physically sick at the thought of going to see the dentist.
  4. As you sit in the examination chair, you become increasingly uneasy, especially when the dentist attempts to look and perform inside your mouth. You begin to struggle with your breathing.

Identify what you're actually afraid of.

If you have experienced any of the above symptoms then you might have a phobia of dentists. What you'll need to do now is identify what things trigger your fear. Here are just a few examples.

  1. You fear the pain that comes from the mouth treatments.
  2. You fear the injections that dentists use to numb your mouth.
  3. You fear the side effects of anesthetics.
  4. You fear the idea of not being in control of the situation.
  5. You fear feeling self-conscious about your teeth and mouth.
  6. You fear the loss of personal space.

Talk to your dentist

In overcoming your fears, you'll need to talk to your local dentist. A good dentist will not make fun of your worries, but will listen to you and offer suggestions that may help you feel more at ease when you come in to see them. If you don't feel sympathy from your dentist then find a new one. There are plenty of dentists out there who sincerely want the best for their patients and would never do anything to harm them.

Join a support group

For some people, talking to the dentist just isn't enough. If you still feel uneasy about getting your teeth checked out, then maybe you need extra support. There are many support groups who are very caring in their approach to help people overcome and face their biggest fears. Psychiatric counselors are also available everywhere and they are more than happy to help you.

Your family dentist wants to be one of your best friends here in South Loop. They want you to feel safe and comfortable when you come in for your checkups. They are aware that many people, just like you, suffer from many degrees of dental fear. This is why they make themselves available not only for teeth exams but for getting to know their patients. Talk to your dentist and see if your experience changes for the better.

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