There are certain things that always seem to top lists of phobias: spiders, heights, enclosed spaces, and dental care. There’s something at the base level of our brains that just makes someone poking around in your mouth with sharp metal objects scary – who knows why, right?
We see a lot of patients who are nervous at Panama City Smiles. Part of being a dental professional is knowing that you’re going to see people who have had bad experiences in the past, have been scared by something they’ve heard, or simply don’t know what to expect.
Many of those patients are also frightened of dental sedation: they simply don’t like the idea of being “put under” or not having control over the situation. That’s something we completely understand, which is why we like to help our patients find relief from their fear without drugs. It is possible!
Dental Fear: Understanding Yourself
Scared of the dentist? You may not even know why. It’s not uncommon for people to have a deep fear of something without remembering what triggered it. Honestly, it isn’t necessary to know why you’re scared of the dentist to find a solution. It’s simply a matter of realizing where the fear exists: in your head.
Step One: Identify The Fear
What part of dentistry scares you? Is it the tools? The lack of knowledge? The unfamiliar feeling? There are plenty of things about dentistry that could frighten you. Knowing your fear factor is the first step toward finding relief.
For the sake of this article let’s assume you’re scared of the potential for pain. Start by questioning your past experiences. Have you had good dental visits in the past? Is every single dental visit going to be painful? It’s very common for patients to focus on one bad experience, story, or bit of info without realizing that there are thousands of pain-free visits for every patient that feels the pain they’re anticipating.
Step Two: Realizing The Source Of Fear Isn’t Absolute
You know what part of dental care scares you, so now think about what we mentioned above: that source of fear isn’t guaranteed. In fact, our team has a variety of dental anxiety relief options designed to counter the exact worries you have. We’ve built an entire comfort menu around the needs of our patients, both typical and extremely nervous, and we’re confident that you’ll find something to help at our office.
Back to thinking about that pain fear: what about your past experiences lead you to believe that every dental visit will involve pain? Think about that one hard, because it can be tough to confront this part of your fear.
If you’re like most of our patients who have a fear of pain this kind of self-reflection leads to an obvious conclusion: there’s no reason to assume that your next dental appointment will be a painful experience, especially with how we address patient anxiety at Panama City Smiles.
Step Three: Eliminating Bad Thinking
There’s something about the moment our patients realize that their fear isn’t going to become real. Their entire demeanor switches! Once you know that you control your fear you’re empowered to destroy it. You can clearly see a cycle of bad thinking that’s leaving you without the care you need to be happy and confident in your dental care and your smile.
Many of our patients are able to overcome their fears when they get to this point. It’s normal to still be nervous, of course, but you’re in the driver’s seat now: there’s no reason to avoid dental care when you realize it was distorted thoughts that were keeping you trapped in anxiety!
Were you like that patient scared of pain? If so, here’s the moment where you can realize that pain isn’t going to happen. We have anesthesia to numb the area, advanced technology to finish procedures with less invasiveness, and the ability to do work that heals much faster than the dentistry of the past.
We Want To Help!
We’re lucky to live in an age of technological marvels, and dentistry is one of the fields that has benefited greatly! For many patients all it takes to conquer fear is to see all the easy treatment methods that are available.
If you’ve been living in fear we hope these tips can help. If you still have questions about overcoming dental fear don’t hesitate to call us! You can reach us for questions or an appointment at (850) 588-0185 or you can request a visit by filling out our online form. We look forward to seeing you soon!