If you’re paying for benefits, but fear is keeping you from going to the dentist, don’t worry. You’re not alone! Research has shown that dental anxiety is real, and common.
We’re bringing information and education to those who struggle with dental anxiety or a fear of going to the dentist. This can help those with a fear of the dentist discover tools to make an appointment calm and stress-free.
As a subscriber, when you don’t go to the dentist, you’re letting a fear of pain or a negative memory get in the way of your oral health.
What You’re Losing When You Wait on Your Fear of Going to the Dentist
Going to the dentist allows preventive care like cleanings and checkups to be done by a dentist you trust. And (great news!) these are typically covered at the highest percentage of the plan’s allowance. This gives you a financial incentive to get regular checkups and cleanings, which can prevent the need for more extensive procedures and save you money in the long run.
Coverage on Basic Procedures
Often, adults with dental anxiety wait until their tooth hurts to think about the dentist. Not only is this a bummer for the patient, but the work needed isn’t covered like preventive care is.
Basic services are the next level up. They work to repair damage with procedures like fillings and gum treatment. Basic procedures are usually reimbursed at a slightly lower percentage than preventive care.
Coverage on Major Procedures
Don’t wait to see your friendly neighborhood dentist until you need major work done. Major procedures, such as crowns and root canals, are usually reimbursed at the lowest percentage (for example, 50%). By practicing good habits for selecting a dentist, anyone with a fear of going to the dentist can become comfortable with regular visits. Then, you can avoid the need for any basic or major procedures!
What We Recommend:
Be Friends with Your Dentist
Interview your dentist (or want to find a new one?). You should be comfortable getting to know your dentist and they should be comfortable getting to know you. It may seem silly, but if you can’t look your dentist in the eye, why would you let him or her in your mouth?!
Let your dentist know exactly what intimidates or worries you about visiting the dentist. Be as specific as you can, because he or she can do a variety of things to make your experience positive.
Experiment with white noise, meditation, music, and headphones while in the dentist chair. According to the American Dental Association, music and mindfulness exercises can soothe and distract. Opting to use a speaker instead of headphones allows you to communicate with the dentist during the appointment, as well.
It’s important that you do everything you can to be physically comfortable during your dental appointment. Loose-fitting, soft clothing is best. This type of clothing will also help your dentist measure your blood pressure during the visit.
Weighted blankets are commonly used for children and pets to reduce anxiety, and they’re effective for adults too! A 30-lb. weighted blanket reduced anxiety in 63% of adults in this study. Bring a weighted blanket or ask your dentist if he or she has one on hand when you schedule your next cleaning.
Limit Unfamiliar Sights
All of your senses—sight included—are equally important for a relaxing dentist appointment. If the sight of a needle or other equipment makes your heart race, tell the dentist! You can even call before an appointment to let him or her know.
Something as simple as having your dentist lay a cloth over the dental tools, so that you avoid seeing them, can reduce the fear of going to the dentist.
When you have dental insurance but don’t go to the dentist, you’re giving away your money and collecting none of the benefits! There’s a reason they’re called benefits: They benefit you!
If you need help understanding your current benefits plan or are interested in signing up, contact us.