by Dr. Joseph P. Graskemper
If you or someone you know is “afraid of the dentist,” here’s some steps to help ease those with dental anxiety, even those with dental phobia.
Today’s dentistry, with the use of newer techniques, can be virtually painless.
But first, it’s important to visit the dentist before dental discomfort forces you to seek treatment. It is easier to overcome the dental anxiety when you are not in pain.
And don’t worry about the dentist being critical of you not seeking dental care for a long time. No matter how bad you may think your situation is, the dentist has probably seen worse — much worse.
One of the most important stress relievers is communication. Ask questions and tell the dentist what you are anxious or phobic about. He or she is a professional and is there to listen and help you overcome you anxiety or phobia, so you can have a peaceful dental visit.
By telling the dentist what your biggest fear is, he or she will be able to discuss it and help you understand it.
The more you understand the less you will be afraid.
During the procedure, a simple raising of your hand will help communicate to the dentist that you are having a problem. They need to stop the procedure and discuss it. If you having pain, you may only need a little more anesthetic. Having a mode of communication during a dental procedure puts you in control.
As with any professional relationship, you must have trust in the dentist treating, not only for dental care, but also for the anxiety control.
Start out with a simple appointment such as an exam. That way, communication, understanding, and trust can be built up with each visit. Remember, knowledge and trust give you the power to overcome “being afraid of the dentist,” and reward you with a life time of smiles.
To make your smile the best is can be, call Dr. Graskemper, The Bellport Village Dentist, for an exam and professional cleaning at 631-286-4243 or visit them online at bellportvillagedentist.com.