dental phobia a problem you can solveThere are many reasons why you may have delayed visiting the dentist. You may have moved or started working at a place where you can’t quite find the time to make an appointment. Other things, like a global pandemic, might have had your dental office closed for a while. Then there’s one other thing that might be keeping you from picking up the phone or scheduling something online: Fear.

Take a step back and consider what might be causing that fear. Why are you anxious? Did you have a bad visit once when you were a child? Perhaps you had a rough experience when you had sat in the dentist’s chair after an extended absence and there was a LOT of discomfort. The second one might stem from the fact that you probably didn’t care for your teeth and gums in the same way that you might have if you kept up your regular dental visits.

The main thing is to not beat yourself up over this fear. “Dental phobia” is not necessarily rational… and you are allowed to feel what you feel. Still… you need to find a way past it, otherwise you risk needing expensive surgery. Here are some ways that you can get past your fear of the dentist.

Do Your Research

This part is assuming that you are going to be seeing a new dentist and not sheepishly returning to your other one after an extended absence. Use your best resources – perhaps you might have family members who live where you are and can recommend a great dentist. Perhaps the people at your office have one that they like. You should learn what it is they like – perhaps they like a no-nonsense dentist while you might want one who talks more to put you at ease.  Listen to what they say and factor in your own opinions.

The next best thing to do is look up information about the dentist. We live in a great time where all you have to do is go on the Internet – whether the portal is your computer, your tablet, or your phone – and look for dentists that are in your area who take your dental insurance. Within seconds you should have a decent-sized list of potential ones to visit. Especially if you live in Queens. New York has a LOT of dentists.

The next step is to winnow down ones that get a lot of favorable reviews from their patients. Make sure that you are using a well-known site that has a good reputation. Carefully read the reviews. Trust your gut to be able to tell which ones are genuine. There may be a glut of five-star reviews but no additional text following. Take those with a very large grain of salt.

Booking the Appointment

You have done all the research and have apparently reached a satisfactory conclusion that the dentist you want to visit has both a suitable personality and a good amount of satisfied patients. Now you can make the appointment, either online or by calling. If you’re doing it over the phone, you can make an early assessment – does the person at the other end seem friendly or harried when making your appointment? Do they willingly answer your questions or do they seem ready to get you off the phone to talk to someone else? Are they willing to discuss options that might put you at ease during your appointment, like sedation dentistry?

The Appointment

Now comes the day of the appointment. How are you greeted when you come in? Yes, chances are good that you will have a lot of paperwork to fill out if you are a new patient. Other than that, are made to feel welcome? When you are brought into the dental exam room, does your hygienist do their best to make you feel at ease or do you feel like you are just another person they are seeing over the course of the day.

Here is the part where you also see how receptive they are to listening. If you explain your fear, do they offer ways to take the edge off or even full sedation? Did they rush through the X-ray process? Were they careful while cleaning your teeth and gums? They should be offering a sympathetic ear and also be willing to work with you through any issues.

Do not be afraid to trust your gut. If a dentist doesn’t feel right for you, then go back to doing research. You need to be your own best advocate. On the other hand, though, you do need to see a dentist at least twice a year. Not doing so can lead to possible gum infection. But through putting in the time and effort, you will find a dentist who can help you.

Dr. Robert Trager is a very experienced dentist and has helped many people over the course of the years as they visit him at his office – JFK-LGA Dentist. Give him a call to see what he can do for you – 718-656-4747.

Published By:
Dr. Robert M. Trager
JFK Airport
Building 14 West Wing,
Jamaica, NY 11430
Phone: 718-656-4747