5 Unexpected ways to manage dental fear – and most dentists don’t even know them all!

Posted: October 17, 2019

No one loves having dental work, but there are 5 easy ways to make the visits easier and get the work done so you can enjoy a healthy mouth and eliminate the fear of your dental visits!

First, we will start with the easiest as they are often the most powerful. The reality is that a lot of fear comes from three basic issues. One is a lack of control.  The lack of control is an easy one to address and your dentist should be very clear about how to alert the team that there is something happening or that you need a break.  At Aesthetic Dentistry of Georgetown, we are here to serve you as our guest. Your comfort is one of our top priorities, and that starts with letting you know how to stop us if there is something you want to address.

The other major fear driver is the unknown issues that may arise while you are having the work done.  That should be completely addressed before the work is even started so that you are aware of the situation and potential pitfalls before you start.  Like much of life, our brains have an amazing capacity to talk us into thinking things are possible or even likely when the reality is they aren’t. Dental visits aren’t exactly fun, but they are safe and should be reasonably comfortable, so if you are worried about ‘what might go wrong’ all you need to do is talk to us about those concerns. Some may be valid, but in our experience, the things most people are worried about are very unlikely to happen and a simple conversation around them will help you to relax through the visit.

While both of those are reasonably simple to address, the third may require some additional tools. If you have a bad dental experience that still haunts you, utilizing advanced tools described below are excellent solutions for you!

The best solution to eliminate fear is to have a healthy mouth, and with today’s advanced technology and protocols, that is much easier than you might imagine!

  1. Talking to the doctor – the science clearly shows that most fear comes from not knowing… everyone is afraid of some part of the procedure and many people because of a past experience. Today every step of the procedure can be managed in a way that is more comfortable than even just a few years ago, so talking to your doctor about what part of the process you are afraid of will help them to be aware of how to make your visit more pleasant!
  2. Oral sedation – easily one of the most powerful and simplest ways to accomplish the dentistry and overcome the fear is careful use of oral sedation. Doctors who care about their patient’s experience will acquire the additional training to be able to offer oral sedation to help to make the procedure easier for you! At Aesthetic Dentistry of Georgetown, we offer this as a complimentary benefit. Your comfort really matters and we are happy to help you through this process free of charge.
  3. NuCalm ®  is a safe, proven neuroscience technology that quickly relaxes you. NuCalm naturally brings your body to the pre-sleep states characterized by deep relaxation. Essentially plug and play meditation, this technology is very powerful and is used to help people suffering with PTSD – and is relatively unknown among most dentists. We also offer this at no charge to you. It is powerful and simple and for most people, it helps them have a much better day after as well!
  4. Establishing rules of the game with the dentist is a proven and powerful technique to help make your visits easier. Simply being able to stop the dentist if you need to is a powerful way to make this process easier on you – so if you dentist didn’t bring it up ahead of time, ask how to stop if you need to swallow or ask a question or something is uncomfortable.
  5. IV sedation is rarely utilized as it is the more expensive and involved solution when the previous four will hold the key to making the visit easier. However, should it be needed, IV sedation can be arranged for your appointment.

Not surprising, but science has shown that everyone has at least some level of anxiety leading up to a dental visit, so you aren’t alone! For some people it is a monumental obstacle it can be all but crippling! However, it is critical to address problems as early as possible since there are always more options at the beginning. Keeping the mouth healthy as healthy as possible is the best way to have easy visits, but fear of the dental visits can make the problems more difficult to handle.

Working with a team trained in adhesive dentistry who takes a comprehensive approach to your care will result in less necessary dental work over time. The more modern approaches to dental care are less invasive and more comfortable to complete and have fewer issues after the work is done compared to older dental patches like metal fillings and crowns. Talking to us about the kind of treatment and the options will also help you to find the simplest and most comfortable solution. We have a great track record of having your visits be surprisingly comfortable!