About Dental Anxiety & Fear
The overwhelming fear of dental appointments can be a common cause of anxiety. The comfort, relaxation, and happiness of the patient are the primary focus of our dental practice. Our caring team will do whatever they can to reduce anxiety, allay fears, and provide painless, quick treatments.
Here is a list of some of the most common dental fears:
- Fear of embarrassment about the condition of teeth.
- Fear of gagging.
- Fear of injections.
- Fear of loss of control.
- Fear of not becoming numb when injected with Novocain.
- Fear of pain.
- Fear of the dentist as a person.
- Fear of the hand piece (or the drill).
How can one overcome dental anxiety?
Dental anxiety and fear can become completely overwhelming. It is estimated that as many as 35 million people do not visit the dental office at all because they are too afraid. Receiving regular dental check-ups and cleanings is incredibly important. Having regular routine check-ups is the easiest way to maintain excellent oral hygiene and reduce the need for more complex treatments.
Here are some tips to help reduce dental fear and anxiety:
- Talk to us – We can’t read minds. Though it can be hard to talk about irrational fears with a stranger, we can take extra precautions during visits if fears and anxiety are communicated.
- Bring a portable music player – Music acts as a relaxant and also drowns out any fear-producing noises. Listening to calming music throughout the appointment will help to reduce anxiety.
- Agree on a signal – Many people are afraid that the dentist will not know they are in significant pain during the appointment and will continue with the procedure regardless. An ideal way to solve this problem is to agree on a “stop” hand signal. Both parties can easily understand signals like raising the hand or tapping on the chair.
- Spray the throat – Throat sprays (for example, Vicks® Chloraseptic® Throat Spray) can actually control the gag reflex. Two or three sprays will usually keep the reflex under control for about an hour.
- Sedation – Sedation offers an excellent option for many people. There are several types of sedation available to minimize anxiety and maximize comfort.
Ask about alternatives – Discuss all the conservative, minimally invasive options with us and decide on one that is effective and produces minimal anxiety.
If you have questions or concerns about how we can help you overcome anxiety and fear, please contact our office.