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 any good dental practice. The staff at the practice will do whatever they can to reduce anxiety, allay fears and provide painless, quick treatments.
Recent technological advancements have meant that in many cases, dentists have a wide variety of safe anesthetics available to eliminate pain and reduce anxiety during routine appointments.
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 anesthetic
Fear of pain
Fear of the dentist as a person
Fear of instruments in mouth
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. The best 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.
Take a mirror – Not being able to see what is happening can increase anxiety and make the imagination run wild. Watching the procedure can help keep reality at the forefront of the mind.
Sedation – If there is no other way to cope, sedation offers an excellent option for many people. There are several types of sedation including nitrous oxide gas and oral conscious sedation using medications in the form of pills.
Ask about alternatives – Advances in technology mean that dental microsurgery is now an option. Air Abrasion or drill-less dentistry can be used to prepare teeth for fillings, remove decalcification or scaring and remove plaque and staining on teeth or around fillings Discuss all the 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.
Our Caring & Trained Team of Professionals Are Ready to Help You get Healthy Today!
North Mankato Family Dentistry
Dr. Angela M. Schuck & Dr. Keith P. Flack
(507) 625-CARE (2273)
SEDATION DENTISTRY ... Wake Up To A Beautiful Smile!