Are you afraid of going to the dentist? Most people would say yes, if they were being honest. Whether it's the sound of the drill, the bright light that shines in your eyes, or battling that suction thing they put in your mouth, the whole experience is something that most people would rather avoid. There's just something that makes people leery of that twice a year exam. Here are some of the reasons people give when asked about why they are afraid of the dentist:
- It hurts! Pain is associated with going to the dentist for many people. The idea of hurting your leg or arm isn't as traumatizing as something hurting in your mouth.
- The tools of the trade. The dreaded drill, the pick, and of course, the needle—these are the things that invoke the most pronounced sense of panic in people when they think about going to the dentist.
- The lack of control. There you are, sitting with your mouth wide open for as long as the procedure takes. You can't really talk (and they are always asking you something, aren't they?), and you can't close your mouth. You feel like you're strapped in the dentist's chair even though you aren't. Helpless is not something you want to feel with the whir of a drill sounding in the distance.
- Imagination rules. Ever make up your own reality and ascribe outlandish visuals to dental procedures? Take pulling teeth for instance. How many of you envision the dentist bracing their feet on your chair and pulling with all their might? Imagination is a powerful thing.
- They don't know! Believe it or not, just being scared in a general sense is actually a reason. It's called anxiety and it can make a person build up fear related to an activity or subject before they ever have reason to worry.
But it doesn't have to be that way.
Going to the dentist should be looked at like a maintenance plan for your mouth. Dentists have tools at their disposal to make the experience more pleasant for you. Depending upon what you are having done, dentists can give you nitrous oxide (laughing gas), oral sedation, and even IV sedation. These tools will take away the fear of pain and let you get the work that you need done.
Your oral health is important to your overall health, so including dental visits in your wellness plan is very important. Don't let your imagination run away with you. Check out the new things that dentists can do to reduce anxiety and visit the dentist without fear through resources such as http://www.nwidentist.com/.