When you suffer from a phobia of the dentist, even just going in to see the dentist can be a struggle. So when you find out that you need dental surgery, you may feel quite panicked. However, it is important to get through and past your feelings and have your dental problems taken care of in the way your dentist recommends. Here are some ways to do that.
Schedule the surgery sooner, rather than later
Your instinct may be to put off the dental surgery for as long as possible so that you have time to prepare, but that will also give you more time to get worked up and panicky. Don't schedule the surgery for tomorrow; you need more time than that to complete the other steps discussed in this article. But don't push it off for months, either. If you can give yourself 2 or 3 weeks, that should be about right.
Visit the surgeon's office in person
Usually, your general dentist will refer you to a surgeon, you'll make the appointment, and you won't see the surgeon until the day of your procedure. This can be really intimidating to someone with dental phobia. So when you call to make your appointment, let the surgeon know about your phobia and ask if you can meet them ahead of time. This gives you time to get acquainted, learn your way around their office, and ask any questions you might have so that you feel less anxious on the day of surgery.
Schedule a few sessions with a therapist
Look for a therapist who has experience treating patients with dental phobia. Your surgeon can probably recommend someone; you are surely not their first patient with dental phobia. The therapist can help you figure out what is behind your dental phobia and work to address it so that you're able to stay calmer on the day of your appointment.
Ask for anesthesia
Most dental surgeries are done with heavy sedation and a local anesthetic. But if you are very worried and anxious, you can ask your dental surgeon to put you out completely. This will cost more and your insurance may not cover the extra cost, but it can be a much easier approach when you're really phobic.
Dental phobia is a serious problem, but you should not let it keep you from getting necessary surgery. Talk to your dental surgeon or a therapist for more advice.
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