Biomimetic Dentistry & Fighting Dental Fear
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Dr. Montes and the staff at Prescott Dentistry strive to provide a comfortable and painless experience for our patients by implementing minimally invasive biomimetic dentistry procedures. However, there are some people who suffer from dental fear or anxiety when confronted with even routine dental visits. Procrastinating and putting off your checkups can exacerbate problems with your dental health. It is important to understand that the nature of biomimetic dentistry in itself is one reason to ease your anxiety about visiting the dentist. Biomimetic dentistry utilizes preventative measures to repair one’s teeth to their original form and function as opposed to more invasive procedures commonly found in traditional dentistry.
One thing is for sure, dental phobia is not something that should be easily dismissed. About 10% of people suffer from dental fear and it can severely effect their health by leading to years of dental neglect. According to Dara Gasior, doctor of Psychology, there are a couple of effective techniques for fighting dental fear.
1. Systematic Desensitization
While it has a scary sounding title, this method is actually both effective and fairly innocuous. With this method, whatever the person is afraid of, you work at slowly introducing. In the case of dental fear that could be just placing a call in to your dentist in Prescott. Another possible step could be just watching a quick video about dentistry. The third step might be just visiting the waiting room of a dental office without actually setting up an appointment. The important thing is that it is done in small steps.
If the first approach doesn’t work, additional coping skills may be required. Meditation and mindfulness, when practiced routinely, can help you control your thoughts enough to focus on something other than what is causing you fear and anxiety. For children, this could be as simple as having a stuffed animal or blanket with them to hold onto and focus on while they are in the chair. The key however, is to practice mindfulness even when not in stressful situations, so that when the pressure is on you have enough mental practice to control your thoughts more effectively.
Lastly, phobias are rarely the result of rational thought. Telling somebody that they way they are thinking of feeling is irrational doesn’t tend to be helpful. Lack of belief in someone’s fear is far from helpful, and it doesn’t provide any comfort. If you are fearful of the dentist, don’t hesitate to contact Prescott Dentistry, even if you just want to call to feel things out before you commit to an appointment.
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (12/16/2015) Iryna Yeroshko (Flickr)