One traumatic experience at the dentist is all it takes to develop odontophobia–the fear of going to the dentist.
Whether it was a painful shot, poor bedside manner, or being overcharged for a treatment, incidences like these can scar a patient for life. If you’re among the 20 percent of patients who have anxiety when seeing a dentist, don’t worry. You’re not alone.
Going to the dentist for shy patients can create so much anxiety that it can actually prevent them from getting the regular treatments they need. This leads to bigger problems, because putting off seeing the dentist can lead to untreated cavities, extractions, and root canals.
If you’re ready to take back your dental health, read on to learn how to find the best dentist for your needs.
How to Find the Right Dentist for Shy Patients
Finding a great dentist for shy patients can seem like a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. As long as you know what to look for, your comfort levels and confidence will soar.
The first place to start is with people you know. Ask your friends. Ask your family. Ask your co-workers. Chances are, you’re going to get a few great references from your inquiry.
Next, read the reviews. The great thing about online reviews is that you can get insight from a variety of people. If they all brag about how the dentist was able to help them overcome their anxiety, take notice.
Lastly, ask your physician for a recommendation. The medical community is a great place to get a legitimate referral.
Once you have a few dentists’ names, visit their websites to get a feel for how they run their practice. A few good buzzwords to look for are “gentle”, “serene”, and “stress-free“.
Email or call your top picks with any concerns you might have about your first visit. If possible, make a consultation appointment to meet with the dentist and bring along a list of questions you’d like to ask.
After meeting with several dentists in person, you’ll have a much better perspective about who is right for you. Observing how the office staff interacts with patients, as well as your comfort level with the dentist, will also be a determining factor.
Once you’ve made your decision, call and make that appointment.
Prepare for Your First Appointment
Going to that first appointment can be very stressful, so make sure to prepare in advance. A few ways to help ease the jitters are:
- Ask a friend or family member to go to the appointment with you.
- Practice relaxation techniques such as slow breathing or visualization.
- Bring a pair of headsets/earbuds and listen to relaxing music during the treatment.
If you still feel very anxious, there are several treatment options to help.
Treatment Options to Help Reduce Anxiety
Sedation can be a helpful option for patients who experience anxiety during office visits. During a sedation treatment, you are awake but relaxed and the treatment is managed with ease.
Consult with your dentist to make sure whether or not sedation is right for you. Your dentist should be able to offer several other options, too, to help alleviate any pain or anxiety.
Make sure to discuss any of your concerns before treatment so you can both be as prepared as possible.
We’re Here to Help!
If you’re ready to overcome your fear of going to the dentist, we think you’ll feel at ease with our practice.
We offer a peaceful and personalized experience for individuals seeking a dentist for shy patients.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation.