Are you afraid of going to the dentist? If so, you are not alone. It has been estimated that 30-40 million people in the United States alone struggle with a fear of the dentist. Even if you are nervous, there are some simple ways you can work to overcome a dental phobia. At Dedicated Dental, we understand that some people are afraid of dental procedures. We wanted to share some information with you that may help put some of those fears to rest, and make you more comfortable with our experienced dentists and modern techniques.
Dental Phobias and Anxiety
Some people have such a high level of fear that they will avoid much needed dental work, even putting up with ongoing infections and damaged teeth rather than making an appointment. In many cases, a dental phobia stems from a previous dental appointment where the patient felt they had no control or they were in discomfort. No matter what the cause, if you have a dental phobia or dental anxiety, here are some things you can do:
Be honest. Tell the dentist you are afraid, and what you are afraid of. Talking about your fear and anxiety is a good way to reduce it. If your dentist knows that you are frightened, he or she can take steps to help reduce your anxiety. Many dentists provide amenities such as headphones, music, movies, and vital sign monitoring to help keep you calm and anxiety free.
If the staff are aware of how you feel, they can make it a point to explain what is about to happen at every step. Being more informed can also be quite empowering, which may help you feel calmer. In some cases, if your anxiety is extreme, your dentist may be able to provide nitrous oxide or even IV sedation.
Seek out advanced dental technology: If you have trouble opening your mouth wide enough, or are nervous about gagging while waiting for dental X-rays, we have good news. Digital intraoral cameras, panoramic X-rays, and specially designed hand pieces can make procedures much faster, simple, and more comfortable.
Talk to yourself: if you are afraid or nervous, talking to yourself may help you calm down. Even if you are doing so silently, try focusing on your breathing by taking deep, slow and calming breaths. You can also use progressive relaxation, tensing and then releasing different muscle groups such as your feet and legs, belly and back, chest, head, and arms.
If you still cannot bring yourself to go to the dentist or relax in the dentist chair, consider seeing a therapist or licensed hypnotist to treat your anxiety. At Dedicated Dental, we always put your needs first. From same day appointments to sophisticated dental technology, we practice effective, gentle, comfort-based dentistry. For some people, the fear is misplaced when they are thinking of the work that may need to be done, rather than what may actually be needed. The big thing to remember, is that your dentist has the experience and accreditation required to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy, with little to no pain involved.
From the moment you walk in to the second you walk out with an improved smile, you will feel the difference in our care. To find out more about how we are advancing the science and art of dentistry, please call Dedicated Dental today at (702) 566-5509, or request your appointment online.