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Tips For Dental Anxiety

Tips For Dental Anxiety

You’re not alone if you experience anxiety when you think about going to the dentist. It is reported that 22% of patients experience some form of dental anxiety, whether fear of procedures, fear of the unknown, fear of dental sounds, etc.

People may have many different aversions when it comes to the dentist. In addition, your mouth is a personal area, and it may make some patients uncomfortable to have it checked and cleaned. Some people may be so panicked by the thought of a trip to the dentist that they avoid going for long periods, which may worsen things, allowing small problems to become severe. If this happens, more significant problems may arise that require more invasive treatment, such as infections, tooth extractions, and root canal treatments. Avoiding the dentist can also lead to self-esteem issues.

Oral health has been shown to have a link with overall health. It is connected to heart disease, respiratory disease, diabetes and premature babies. A person could be more at risk of these health concerns if skipping the dentist. 

Symptoms of Dental Anxiety 

The main symptoms of dental anxiety are: hot flashes, palpitations, feeling of uneasiness, sweating, faint, upset stomach, withdrawal, shaking, difficulty breathing, hyperventilation, difficulty sleeping the night before and crying.

When you come for your dental appointment, your dentist monitors you for these symptoms. Let your dentist know if you have dental anxiety so they can take it slow and help you through the appointment. 

Causes of Dental Anxiety 

Anxiety is a very personal experience, and the cause may differ from person to person. At the dentist, we don’t judge the reason behind your anxiety. The most common causes of dental anxiety are past negative experiences, feelings of loss of control, fear of needles, trust issues, pain, dental office noises, and fear of the unknown. If you know what triggers your dental anxiety, share it with your dentist, so they are better equipped to help you through it. 

Tips for Your Dental Anxiety 

  1. Be sure to take proper care of your oral health. If you let your oral health slip, chances are minimal work will be required when you make it in to see your dentist. Be sure to brush twice a day and floss daily using a toothpaste containing fluoride. 
  2. Talk to, and learn to trust your dentist. They are there to help you, and if they are aware of your dental anxiety, they can make the appointment that much easier for you. 
  3. Ask about in-office tools to help you relax. Your dental office may have blankets, noise cancelling headphones, music or aromatherapy to help relieve your dental anxiety in the chair. 
  4. Anti-anxiety medications are available if needed that your dentist can prescribe before you come in for your dental appointment. 

The most important thing is getting in for the dental appointment and ensuring that your dentist is aware of any anxiety you may be experiencing. If you have any questions about tips for your dental anxiety, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule a visit

Tips To Help Overcome Dental Anxiety

Tips To Help Overcome Dental Anxiety

Dental Anxiety

Dental fear or anxiety affects many people. For some, it can stop them from getting the oral care that they need. Dental professionals see patients on a daily basis that have varying degrees of dental anxiety. You do not have to worry about being “a bad patient” or feel guilty or ashamed. Getting through the door is often the hardest part, and your dental professional recognizes that. Dental staff will work with you to ensure your comfort every step of the way.

Some tips to help you get through a dental appointment:

Find the right dentist

There are gentle and understanding dentists that are willing to help you face your fears and get the dental treatment you need and deserve.

Talk about it

Be open and upfront about your dental anxieties. Knowing what your fears are and what they stem from can help the dental staff make sure you have a positive experience. For some, it helps to have procedures explained to them, so they know what is happening during each step. Good communication will your dental professional is important.

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Headphones

If the noises involved in dentistry increase your anxiety, bringing along your music or a podcast can help distract you.

Relaxation techniques

Knowing some easy relaxation techniques like controlled breathing can be helpful.

Take breaks if needed

If you need a break, it is okay to ask for one. If you need multiple dental procedures done, breaking them up into short, more manageable appointments may help you get through the treatment plan.

Pain control

If you have a fear of dental pain, it is important to know that there are different options for pain control. Even for a dental cleaning, there are options to keep you comfortable and pain-free. Talk to your dental professionals to discuss what might work best for you.

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Sedation

Some people need sedation to assist them in getting through dental procedures. Talk to your dentist about options if you think this is something that would help you.

Practice excellent oral hygiene

Thorough brushing twice a day and daily flossing help to prevent cavities and keep your gums healthy. Choose healthy tooth-friendly foods and forgo the pop and candy. This will mean shorter and less complicated dental cleanings and hopefully prevent you from needing major dental work in the future.

Dental professionals know that your fears are real and will strive to be understanding and help you work through them. Just because you have dental anxiety today does not mean that you always will. Once you have some positive experiences at the dental office, your confidence and comfort level will grow. If your anxieties stem from a bad dental experience that happened a long time ago, know that dentistry has changed a great deal over the years and patient comfort is now of the utmost importance. If you are in need of dental care, call today!