For many people, dental anxiety is related to a fear of pain. They’re worried that going to the dentist is going to hurt. However, for many people, dental anxiety has a very different source: embarrassment.
People are embarrassed about many different things at the dentist, but some of the more common concerns people have are:
- The health or appearance of teeth
- Lifestyle choices
- Not doing a good job on hygiene
- Avoiding the dentist
- Being fearful
People think that a dentist is going to judge them for these concerns, then give them a lecture that makes them feel bad. However, at Contemporary Dentistry in Rochester, NY, our compassionate dentists are accepting and are focused on your future health. We don’t judge you about the past, only try to work with you to help you enjoy better health in the future. At Contemporary Dentistry, we have designed our dental practice to be relaxing and accepting to all.
Here are some tips to help you avoid embarrassment at the dentist.
Find a Dentist Who Makes You Feel Comfortable
Not all dentists in Rochester are the same. There are some dentists who will make you feel better about yourself and your mouth situation. Others might make you feel worse. This isn’t about which dentist is better, or even necessarily, about a dentist being compassionate and understanding.
Sometimes, you just get the wrong feeling from a dentist, and this makes you feel self-conscious and embarrassed. If your current dentist makes you feel so uncomfortable that you’re not making appointments, it’s time to look for a new dentist.
When choosing a dentist, look for one that stresses compassion and understanding. In addition, you might consider contacting dental offices with multiple dentists so that you can potentially switch dentists without switching offices if the one you choose doesn’t work out for you.
Communicate with Your Dentist
Something that’s always important when dealing with dental anxiety is talking to your Rochester dentist about how you feel. Your dentist can’t help with problems they don’t know about.
Tell your dentist how you’re feeling both before and during your appointment. Your dentist will respond by being equally communicative and reassuring.
At Contemporary Dentistry, we take the initiative to encourage communication. In addition to the normal patient questionnaire, we have an anxiety questionnaire that helps you get everything out in the open. This reduces anxiety in the future and lets us proactively take steps to reduce your anxiety, no matter its source.
Another important guideline: don’t lie to your dentist to avoid embarrassment. This is unfortunately common, especially when it comes to things like brushing your teeth and flossing. Truth is best for many reasons. Most importantly, your dentist will likely be able to tell when you’re lying. This creates an extra level of discomfort between you.
Maintain a Sense of Proportion
Part of the process of embarrassment and anxiety involves catastrophizing your circumstances. As much as possible, try to be realistic about your circumstances.
First of all, it’s highly unlikely that your teeth are the worst your dentist has ever seen. Dentists see a lot of teeth, and it’s likely that they have seen much, much worse than yours.
Second, if you’re embarrassed about your anxiety, know that dental anxiety is really common. Most people have some degree of anxiety. It’s nothing whatsoever to be ashamed of.
Partner with Your Dentist
If you look at your Rochester dentist as a supervisor or other authority figure, then whatever they say to you is going to seem like a criticism or a lecture. However, if you look at your dentist as a partner, then the two of you can work together on the project of enjoying a beautiful and healthy smile.
Once you and your dentist are working together, then you will be more likely to see guidance your dentist gives as what it is: concern about you and your health. You’ll see how your dentist is trying to help you, and this will help you take the suggestions in a more positive way.
Practice Relaxation Techniques
It’s important to understand that dental relaxation is available no matter the source of your dental anxiety. We offer amenities and comforts to help you feel comfortable and relaxed. However, we also encourage you to follow whatever relaxation techniques you have found effective for you in the past. If you have your own soundtrack, you like to listen to, for example, or if a certain routine helps you feel comfortable, we’re open to that.
Finally, if you are still anxious and embarrassed, consider sedation dentistry in Rochester, NY. It is equally effective in dealing with embarrassment as with fear, and we can offer as small a dose as is appropriate to your level of anxiety. We offer three types of sedation, weighted blankets and headphones.
Embarrassment-Free Dentistry in Rochester, NY
It’s essential to your health that you make regular dental appointments, and it’s even more vital that you get treatment for any ongoing dental conditions. If embarrassment is keeping you away, know that the dentists at Contemporary Dentistry are committed to overcoming it so you can get the dental care you need.
To experience embarrassment-free dentistry in Rochester, NY, please call (585) 244-3337 or use our online form today to request an appointment at Contemporary Dentistry, located near the Shoppes at Lac de Ville.