Feeling uncomfortable about going to the dentist is not uncommon. Many people experience fear and anxiety before dental appointments. Sometimes the fear is rooted in reality – a negative experience in the past – and other times it is based off of a general sense of anxiety. No matter what is causing your discomfort about going to the dentist there are steps you can take to make the process better. Examine your reasons for feeling uncomfortable about going to the dentist and then take steps to lessen those concerns.
Why do you feel uncomfortable about going to the dentist?
There are a number of reasons people feel uncomfortable about going to the dentist. A negative experience at the dentist during childhood is enough to keep many people away from the dentist in adulthood. The fear of pain is another common blockade that people face when attempting to get proper oral care. General anxiety about new or unfamiliar situations can cause some people to avoid the dentist. Do any of these descriptions sound familiar to you? Do you know the reason you feel so uncomfortable about going to the dentist? Examining your reasons for avoiding the dentist can have a big impact on the steps you can take to overcome those factors.
Steps that can lessen your concerns about going to the dentist.
It is normal to have some feelings of apprehension when it is time to go to the dentist. However, if you allow those feelings to keep you from getting proper oral care it can cause some serious issues. Skipping out on routine dental visits can lead to oral problems like cavities and gum disease. Waiting until things are really bad to go to the dentist can create a self-fulfilling prophesy in which you do have a negative experience. Dealing with severe issues will always be more difficult than getting the proper routine care. One way to become more comfortable with the idea of going to the dentist is to familiarize yourself with the people and environment you will encounter. Take some time to learn about the dentist, hygienists, and staff at the office. Take a virtual tour of the office or schedule and in-person tour. Being familiar with the surroundings can help minimize general anxiety and help you set proper expectations. Increasing your familiarity will also help you feel more comfortable over time. Actually going to your routine dental visits can help improve how you feel about the dentist in general. Over time, the good experiences you have at the dentist can start to overshadow any negative experiences from the past. This is a process that will take some time but it is worth it to get the professional oral care that you need.
Avoiding the dentist may help you feel more comfortable in the moment but it will ultimately lead to problems. The longer you go without proper dental care the more difficult it will be to get back on track. Start slow and explore the options for dentists in your area. Read about the offices and staff online and, when you’re ready, schedule a consultation to meet the dentist in person. It is worth your time to go through this process because proper oral care is important for your overall health and quality of life.