Do You Fear The Dentist? Here Are Tips To Overcome It

Dr. Michelle Luis, a south Florida native, practices as a general dentist with substantive experience with fillings, crowns, and bridges, veneers, extractions, dentures, Invisalign, and root canals. She also has expertise with a number of cosmetic procedures to aid patients in looking and feeling their very best, including teeth whitening, and Botox. She holds a Master’s degree in Biomedical Science and a Doctorate in Dentistry from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Luis is a member of the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Florida Dental Association (FDA).

dentistPhoto Credit: ShutterstockHaute Beauty expert Dr. Michelle Luis shares 5 tips for overcoming the fear of the dentist and how to break through to get to your best oral health.

1. Find the right Dentist! Each of the 67 accredited dental schools in the US has about 6,000 new dentists graduate a year. You DO NOT have to go to the same Dentist you and your family have always gone to just because that is what you have always done. Find a dentist that takes the time to connect with you, hears your concerns and explains your treatment options in ways you can understand (not dental language). If you seem anxious or even mention you are concerned, and they do not pick up on those signals then they are not the right fit! Trusting and feeling safe with your provider is the first step to being able to overcome dental phobias, and actually start needed treatments.

2. Time of day is key! If you are a morning person book your appointments in the morning, if you are an afternoon/ evening person book in the later afternoon. Your body will naturally feel less anxiety being seen at a time of day compatible with your natural circadian rhythm.

3. Set aside more time. Yes, we are all busy, but that extra appointment you allow to initially desensitize yourself to the dental chair, the less anxiety your will have when the treatment actually commences.

4. Medicinal additives: If you desire a natural option use, or request for your Dentist to provide some lavender essential oils. Place a little on the inner part of your wrists, and take deeps breaths in and out. This will send relaxing signals to your brain and help bring down your anxiety. For those patients comfortable with taking pills, your provider can prescribe you an anti-anxiety pill to be taken an hour before your appointments.

5. Get the Facts! I can not tell you how many of my patients with dental phobia come in thinking they are about to lose every tooth in their mouths! Usually, my dental phobic patients have waited quite some time in-between visits due to their fears. Any sensitivity or pain they are having is blown up in their minds to needing a full mouth makeover! Most of the time when we get to a safe place, and I present the treatment I see they need, there is a huge sense of relief. If you need more involved treatments, that is what we specialize in! We fix mouths! Be encouraged that we go to school for many years, and dental medicine advancements have come so far. We can repair and restore your mouth to optimum health with a little trust, time, and “love” of your mouth.