Education and practicing general dentistry go hand in hand. One of the greatest parts of general dentistry is the ability to teach people about their mouth, the things we do to make sure you are healthy, and how to keep yourself in peak oral health. It also allows us to discuss subjects like fear, which are often avoided in other professional circles. The truth is that fear of dental treatment is a very real condition experienced by thousands of people across the world. Wherever you have a doctor practicing general dentistry, you will find people afraid to visit this person professionally.
In America alone, we have 26 percent of the population who will never visit the dentist unless they are doing so for an emergency. This segment openly admits that they would benefit from frequent visits to the general dentist, but are too taken by their stress and fear of the process to be able to. In addition to this 26 percent, there are between 9 percent and 20 percent of people who experience anxiety when they need to visit the dentist office. This anxiety ranges from mild concern to panic attacks. We know that the fear people experience is a very real thing since we have to deal with it on a virtual daily basis. What we also know is that the best way to fight this fear is to do things that mitigate the fear and create comfort and familiarity.
Using general dentistry to fight dental anxiety
As a practitioner of general dentistry, we give people three steps they should consider doing that will help make their experience with the dentist less stressful, if not easier. The first thing you should consider doing is finding out what exactly you are afraid of. Fears that are unnamed and not identified tend to manifest as bigger than they are, creating an overarching sense of stress, when the reality is that you are probably afraid of one element of the visit. If you are afraid of needles, we can work around that fear; if you are afraid of the loss of control, we have ways of talking you through that as well. An isolated fear is much easier to work with or around. Secondly, you should work on learning about the work of general dentistry, and we are happy to help you here. The more you learn about what we do, why we do it, the tools we use to do it with, and the ultimate steps we take to ensure your safety, well-being, and comfort, the less likely you are to be afraid when you are sitting in the dentist chair. Knowledge is the natural enemy of fear, so we recommend learning as much as you want or can. Finally, we ask that you make it a habit of coming in to see your general dentistry practitioner on a bi-annual basis. During these visits, which are quick and easy, we will be performing examinations and cleanings. Coming in regularly creates a sense of trust for your dentist and also familiarity for the surroundings and equipment, which will help stave off fears in the event that a more intense or stressful procedure is required at some point.