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Dental Anxiety: Tips for Overcoming Fear of the Dentist

Every single patient should feel completely at rest, cozy, and at peace. But given that more than 80% of Americans experience some level of dental anxiety, we have our work cut out for us. Know that you’re not alone. We have utilized a variety of techniques to assist thousands of people in overcoming their anxieties.

We are prepared for the challenge and determined to change how our patients think about what going to the dentist entails. The following article will give you a few tips for combating dental anxiety

The Impact of Dental Anxiety on General Health

When something scares you, what do you do? Avoid going there at all costs. 

This also holds true for those who are afraid of the dentist. Between 9 and 15% of Americans forgo going to a dentist at all because of fear or dental anxiety (that’s around 30 to 40 million people!). 

Regular dental visits, preventive care, and problem-solving are essential to maintaining both your oral and overall health. It might be hazardous to avoid recommended treatments or appointments with the dentist because of dental fear. This can lead to some of the following issues:

  • Toothaches
  • Teeth that are chipped, cracked, and broken
  • Stained and discolored teeth
  • Cavities and tooth decay
  • Gum disease 
  • Accused recession
  • Dental decay

Not to mention the warning signs and symptoms of numerous additional dental issues (such as TMJ, sleep apnea, and even oral cancer) that won’t be detected or addressed.

The benefits of visiting the dentist are all your own. You must keep this knowledge in mind as you attempt to overcome your dental anxieties.

What is it that terrifies you and keeps you from visiting the dentist? The initial step is to admit your fear.

You must acknowledge your dental anxiety and understand why it exists before you can get past it.

After some reflection, you might realize that one or more factors are to blame. Here are a few that could possibly contribute to your dental anxiety. 

  1. Guilt regarding oral health issues

If a fear of the dentist has kept you from seeing one for a long time, you may have more serious dental issues. Even if your teeth appear to be in good repair, some people are concerned that they may “get in trouble” if they miss an appointment, fail to floss every day, or engage in any other poor oral hygiene practices.

But bear in mind that you’re more likely to feel self-conscious about your teeth the longer you put off going to the dentist. Remember that our goal is to help you achieve your greatest oral health; we will never condemn or criticize you for past dental health choices.

  1. A distressing prior experience
    Unfortunately, some dentists don’t invest the time and energy necessary to provide patients with the best experience. If you’ve ever experienced such a visit to the dentist, you can feel traumatized by the event. Whether it was being coerced into receiving therapy you didn’t want or not feeling welcome, these kinds of experiences can make you wary.

It’s good to know that there is better out there. The secret to success is locating a reputable dentist who will handle you with respect and concern. We shall begin with quiet, honest visits in order to build a connection based on trust and regard for your feelings.

  1. Pain
    Many individuals believe that receiving dental care is usually painful. The idea of suffering would be terrifying to everyone! The good news is that modern dental operations and treatments are softer, less intrusive, and more comfortable than they once were. It goes without saying that a skilled dentist would take care to lessen your discomfort while the treatment was being done.
  2. A lack of control and concerns about the future
    As they are sitting back in a dentist chair, some people experience anxiety and claustrophobia. Some find it difficult to unwind because they are unsure of what is going to happen. Feeling out of control and not knowing what to expect can be terrifying.

Dental offices now take these fears into account and address them. From calming accessories like blankets, headphones, and eye masks to full descriptions of each therapeutic process. To make your visit as comfortable as we can, we have a number of techniques at our disposal.

Now that you’ve identified the main causes of your worries, it’s time to take action to deal with them. Here are some suggestions for making it happen.

  1. Invite a family member or friend: Ask a friend or family member to join you during the appointment. Whether you want the person to wait outside in the lobby while you have your appointment or in the room with you, having a known and supportive person nearby may help you feel safer and more at peace.
  2. Choose the right dentist: Choosing the best dentist could be important. You’ll experience greater comfort and assurance regarding the medical care you’re receiving. Locate a dentist who offers:
  • Personalized dental care and procedures provided in a welcoming office environment
  • A kind, considerate workforce
  • Simple answers to all of your questions
  • Positive comments from recent patients
  1. Use sedatives and medications: Before your visit, take some time to prepare the right attitude. Numerous people find benefits in stretching, meditation, and deep regulated breathing.

The best sedative options for you may be determined by speaking with your dentist if you suffer from acute anxiety.

Your dentist may  then decide to use sedative medications or nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to assist keep your anxiety to a minimum. We may discuss these choices and create a customized regimen to meet your specific needs during your session. These medications are highly safe and effective for treating anxiety.

  1. Ask a lot of questions: Throughout your appointment, be careful to voice any concerns, questions, or pain. Your dental team is available to help you. Do you want to know more about a specific tool or process? Ask! Do you need a break from therapy because you’re getting apprehensive before continuing? Let your dentist know.

A competent dental team will gladly comply with your preferences, clarifying any potential discomfort and making sure you feel at ease throughout the procedure.

  1. Let your dentist know!: While it is awful that dental anxiety is so common, it does mean that your dentist has a tonne of experience taking care of people who are similar to you. Inform your dentist and the rest of the dental team about your worries rather than keeping them a secret.

Your dentist wants to give you the individualized attention and care you need to make your appointment comfortable and enjoyable.

  1. Be on time: If you rush to get to your appointment on time, you can become upset. Don’t overthink the encounter. Plan to arrive extra early to give yourself ample time to take things gently.

Come early enough to take advantage of a few extra minutes in the lobby to relax, speak with the front desk staff, and ask any questions you may have.

We are ready to help. 

We are aware that some people may have anxiety when seeing a new dentist. Nevertheless, at our Havre de Grace dental clinic, we work in a unique way.

If you are one of those that suffers from dental anxiety, we can help. Your session will be tailored to your needs in order to ensure that you are relaxed and comfortable throughout.

You will receive instruction and information along the way, and you will have plenty of opportunity to ask questions and get the answers you need to feel confident.

If there is anything we can do to provide you with the greatest experience possible, kindly let us know. Call us right away at (971) 423-6804 and we’ll help you set up an appointment with one of our skilled dentists.

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