Are you afraid of the dentist? You may be surprised to learn that this is not uncommon. Actually, around 9-15% of Americans struggle with this anxiety. Unfortunately, this can have long term effects on your oral health, as it is very important to visit the dentist in order to prevent cavities, gum disease, and more. If any of the following fears are preventing you from visiting the dentist, perhaps these methods can help ease your discomfort.
1. Many patients are afraid of the pain during procedures.
If you’re afraid of experiencing pain during your dental procedures, not to worry! By speaking with your dentist about your fears, they can take the necessary steps to help alleviate them. For example, your dentist can reassure you that, thanks to modern medicine, most dental procedures are completely painless now. By informing them, your dentist may also be able to choose the least invasive treatment method available, or perhaps they can decide if you’re a candidate for the use of nitrous oxide (also known as “laughing gas”) during your procedure. This local sedation is occasionally used for those with dental phobia in order to help relieve anxiety for those undergoing certain procedures.
Another way to help reduce the amount of dental work required during these procedures is to maintain a solid dental hygiene routine. This will reduce your risk of tartar buildup and tooth decay and make dentist appointments much less invasive. Therefore, be sure to brush your teeth at least twice per day and floss every night.
2. Patients may have feelings of helplessness and loss of control during dentist appointments.
If you inform your dentist about your fears and anxiety about the visit, you’d be surprised about how much they can help! Dental anxiety is relatively common, and your dentist is well-equipped to help alleviate this anxiety and make sure you’re comfortable throughout the appointment. One way your dentist can help, in particular, is to speak with you throughout the appointment and establish nonverbal cues you can use to request a break. This will help you to reestablish control during your appointment and make it much more bearable.
3. Occasionally, a traumatic medical or dental experience may have occurred in the past.
It is so important to find a dentist that you trust and get along with. For this reason, we recommend that you ask trusted friends and family members about dentists they’ve liked working with. You may also find that reading online reviews can help reassure you that you’re receiving quality care during your appointment.
4. The sound of the dental drills can be unnerving.
We understand that the sound of a drill can be unnerving and alarming, even if the procedure itself is painless. In order to help drown out this noise, we recommend bringing music or a podcast that you can listen to throughout your appointment. You can also wear earplugs if you’d like! We’re open to any methods you’d like to try in order to ease your anxiety about the appointment.
At Advanced Family Dental & Orthodontics in Lockport, we do everything you can to make sure your dental appointment is easy and stress-free. To schedule your visit or ask any questions, contact our office today.