Are You Scared of Your Dentist?

Besides prescribing oral medicine and providing patient education, dentists perform different types of dental procedures that all aim to restore and improve your oral health. The American Dental Association recommends you see your dentist at least once every six months to have your mouth checked for signs of trouble and to remove hardened calculus on your teeth.

These are procedures that your dentist is trained to do. But, unfortunately, more than half of the American population deliberately skip dental appointments for one reason – they are scared of the dentist. If you are guilty of missing your appointments because you’re scared too, this blog is for you.

First of all, there is no reason for you to fear your dentist. The following are reasons that will persuade you to show up during your dental appointments fearlessly.

#1 Dentists Thoroughly Clean Your Teeth

Even if you brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes and even if you floss before going to bed, there will be areas in your mouth that are prone to plaque and tartar buildup. These hard-to-reach areas can cause your teeth to develop cavities and decay and your gums to inflame. Your dentist has the tools needed to efficiently remove plaque and tartar buildup in these areas. Keeping your mouth plaque and tartar free is part of preventive dentistry. Professional teeth cleaning prevents the occurrence of tooth decay and gum disease.

#2 Your Dentist Is Your Friend

When you start thinking of your dentist as your friend, you’ll slowly change your mindset about visiting the clinic. Your dentist doesn’t want to harm you; in fact, they want the opposite. Preventive dentistry procedures aim to keep your teeth and gums strong and healthy, thereby reducing your risk of developing oral health complications.

#3 Dental Treatments Are Not Painful

One of the biggest misconceptions about dental treatments is they are painful. On the contrary, these treatments aim to reduce the pain you’re feeling. Tooth decay and gum disease are two of the most common dental issues people deal with, and these two cause pain in varying degrees.

Albeit, there may be treatments that cause slight discomfort, this should not be a cause for concern because, during your consultation, your dentist will assess your pain threshold and tolerance. For lengthy and invasive procedures, you will be anesthetized so you won’t feel any pain. You will also be given pain killers after the treatment to alleviate any form of discomfort.

#4 Lower Your Risk of Health Conditions

Are you aware that if you keep skipping dental appointments, your risk of getting heart disease heightens? If this isn’t addressed it could lead to death. One way of lowering your risk of heart disease is to visit your dentist bi-annually to have your teeth cleaned.

#5 Dentists Educate You

Sure, you can read blogs and articles online on how to improve your oral health, but nothing beats insight from your dentist himself. Every mouth is different, and every dental problem is unique. If you want a treatment plan tailored to your unique needs, you should visit your dentist once every six months.

Dentists are great communicators and educators. They will teach you the proper way to brush and floss and how often you should do it, what foods you should avoid and what foods to consume, and what food and drinks cause your teeth to stain. Overall, your dentist will teach you habits on how to improve your oral health. During your dental visits, you’re not just getting your teeth cleaned, but you’ll also learn so much about your oral health. You can even pass the helpful pieces of information you’ve learned down to your kids.

#6 Dentists Offer Dental Sedation

When you’re too scared to go to the dentist that you would rather endure the pain that comes with advanced-stage gum disease or severe tooth decay, you should know that dentists offer dental sedation. Dental sedation is intended for patients who cannot bring themselves to the clinic because of anxiety. Dental sedation can be given via oral medication, inhalation, or intravenously to help you relax during the duration of the treatment.

Takeaway

It’s easier said than done, but once you learn more about dental treatments and filter out myths and misconceptions, you’ll realize that dental visits are not as bad as the Internet says they are. Your dentist has your best interest at heart. You’re lowering your chances of suffering from painful oral complications and other health conditions whenever you go to the clinic.

Dr. Mamaly Reshad
Dr. Mamaly Reshad, DDS, MSc, Prosthodontist, has over 20 years of experience in dentistry is the owner of ArtLab Dentistry in Woodland Hills

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