Dental anxiety is a fear of going to the dentist, and it's much more common than you may think. In fact, serious anxiety keeps millions of Americans from getting the preventive oral care they need.
Dental phobia often stems from a traumatic experience at the dentist that leaves patients justifiably anxious, even though they are aware this is an irrational fear. This avoidance of the dentist can go far beyond dental pain or lost teeth, and can include gum disease that affects the whole body, with studies linking it to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and more.
A dentist who is trained in using methods and treatments that reduce pain and alleviate fear is key to helping patients overcome their dental anxiety and receive necessary treatment.
Tips for Dealing With Dental Anxiety
If you suffer from dental anxiety, try these helpful tips to overcome your fear:
- Voice your concerns.
Speak with your dentist about how you're feeling. Communicating your concerns upfront allows your dentist to understand your fears and suggest treatment options that will help you relax during your visit.
- Try relaxation exercises.
Methods like deep breathing exercises in the waiting room or simply using noise-canceling headphones during the appointment are beneficial. Find out which relaxation technique works for you and stick with it.
- Ask about sedation dentistry.
Some patients require anti-anxiety medication to face their dental appointment without fear. Oral sedatives keep you relaxed while the dentist performs even routine procedures, such as a cleaning or filling a cavity.
- Bring a friend.
A relative or friend can comfort you, keep you calm and help distract you from your worry. Also, if you do require sedation dentistry, your friend can safely drive you home.
These days, dentistry is all about the patient. Modern dental technology is designed with your comfort in mind.
At Dentistry at East Piedmont, Dr. Patel and Dr. Buxton strive to provide every patient with comfortable, efficient dental care. If you suffer from dental anxiety, please contact us to find out more about our sedation dentistry options and dental-spa amenities.