Fear of going to the dentist, or fear of this particular treatment is by far the most common reason for not having it done!
I see people who are terrified by the dentist all the time, and if this sounds like you, then there is great news, your fear can be cured! (Or at worst dramatically reduced!)
Lets first look at what effect this fear is having on your life.
You are not stupid, if you replace missing teeth, or get rid of loose denture, then your life will improve. This is obvious, right?
You can eat what you like, you can be confident when you smile, you never need to worry about your loose teeth moving around!
Many people like you ‘kind of know’ what is possible, but something is stopping you get this improvement in your life. You may have told your dentist that its the cost, but really its a fear of what (you think) goes on in the treatment.
I am not saying that cost is never a factor, this treatment is not cheap, but with so many ways to finance it, cost is normally not the main reason for living with your current situation.
So why live with it?
As humans, we make life choices based on two hardwired principals:
Will I Avoid Pain?
Will I Gain a Benefit?
Often we need to overcome a short term discomfort to get a long term goal, for example if we want to lose weight, we need to say no to some of the foods we really get enjoyment from!
People with a fear of the dentist have a perception of how much pain the dentist will cause – I will cover this in a little bit.
If you are fearful of the dentist, you have two options
Option 1. You can wait until the your actual pain is so bad, that it outweighs the perceived pain of going to the dentist – Here you will actually get short term benefit by going to the dentist! (Easy choice, based on the two hard wired principals… You will gain benefit)
Option 2. You can address this fear now, and get your dental health in good shape now, therefore avoiding pain in the future. Easier said than done… Especially when nothing is hurting right now!
What is causing your perceived fear of the dentist
In almost all the people I meet who are scared of the dentist, there is a past experience, a situation where they felt out of control, and this caused a lot of pain.
Old generation dentist didn’t really have great social skills! (and arguably many don’t today!) – and they definitely were not great with kids!
From a kids point of view, you go to this weird place, the people are weird, the smell is weird, they talk funny, and suddenly this strange person is putting these tools in your mouth!
And mum and dad?!?! They are letting this all happen! Taking the dentists side!
If you had a filling, then the experience just got a million times worse!
No wonder you are not keen on going to that weird place again.
What happened then was you created a definite association that dentist = pain. To make things worse, if you waited to get pain (now in adult life), before you went to the dentist, then you reinforced this association of dentist = pain.
Now you know better, we need to work on breaking this association. Its not easy, but if you want to have a healthy, beautiful smile, the sooner you do this, the sooner you can have a great smile.
If you don’t like your dentist, or you have not seen one in a long time, do some research, find someone who you like the look of. Remember, this is a relationship, so trust is very important.
See if you can have a free consultation, and meet the dentist, find videos on YouTube etc.
BOOK A FREE CONSULTATION – AND KEEP THE APPOINTMENT
This is very important. You need to take action, and arrange the appointment. If you arrange it and don’t keep it – do not expect the clinic to rearrange another free consultation with the dentist, and they may think of you as a time-waster.
Start small. You do not need to go in for the most complex treatment right away.
Often you will need a full examination, and probably a clean (or two), to get your mouth in pretty good condition. These are normally shorter appointments, and if you let the clinic know you are nervous, they can arrange longer appointments for you.
By now, you should probably have a little more trust in the dentist, and be starting to break the associations you previously had. Doing something like giving yourself a treat after every visit to the dentist will help subconsciously make you associate going to the dentist with something nice. I know it sounds silly, but this works.
Have the treatment you have always wanted.
The important thing to note here is that as a dentist, I am willing to help, but its you who needs to take first action, its always up to you.
I could tell you stories of patients that I have helped, who were in tears when they were in the reception! Now, they are as enthusiastic as anyone else- and all we did was help them change their associations with going to the dentist.
You can tackle the issues now, in a gentle and painless way. Or wait until you’re on your back foot with pain.
If you have thought about replacing missing teeth, but something has been holding you back, then you should request a free information pack by filling in your information in the form below. You can think of this as your first step!