If you experience dental anxiety you can take some comfort in knowing that you are not alone. According to a recent survey by market researcher DentaVox, out of the 18,000 people they surveyed around the world 61% said they experience some level of dental anxiety. But sharing this common fear doesn’t mean you have to live with it.
In fact, there are many ways you can reduce and manage dental anxiety.
How Can You Manage Dental Anxiety?
There are proven strategies that can help you reduce your dental anxiety level and create a positive dental experience.
We realize your dental anxiety is a real concern and offer remedies, below, to make your visit more calming and comfortable.
Can Communication Lower Dental Anxiety?
Communication is the key to overcoming any anxiety you are feeling about your dental appointment. You should share any uneasiness you are experiencing with your dentist so your dentist is aware of your concerns and can help establish a more serene experience.
Don’t be afraid to ask your dentist questions. Sometimes just knowing what is going to happen during your dentist visit can alleviate some fear and decrease anxiety. When you are informed and know what to expect chances are you will be less anxious.
What Are Tips To Reduce Anxiety During a Dental Visit?
Your overall good health is linked to taking care of your teeth and gums. So, if you are skipping dental visits because of anxiety it can lead to tooth decay, cavities, disease and infection. There are many calming techniques you can use to relieve your anxiety, including:
- Plan Ahead: Schedule a low-stress appointment time for your dental visit so you are more relaxed. Visits during your lunch hour or squeezed between errands can increase anxiety.
- Breathe: Focus on slow, deep breathing during dental visits can help reduce stress level
- Music: Bring some earbuds to listen to your favorite music.
- Diet: Knowing caffeine can increase heart rate, stay away from coffee, soda or any other food/beverage that can contribute to anxiousness before a dental visit.
- Signal: Create a hand signal to indicate you need a small break.
How Is Sedation Dentistry an Option for Anxiety Relief?
Sedation dentistry is a preferred method taken by many people that helps them relax and have an anxiety-free dental visit. Sedation dentistry allows you to be awake during your visit, but it will likely help you forget all the details.
The Academy of General Dentistry confirms that sedation dentistry is a safe solution to tackling dental anxiety. Among the top benefits of sedation dentistry is that people often feel like their dental visit only lasts a few minutes.
Dental Sedation comes in many forms. The most common dental sedation is nitrous oxide, which also known as “laughing gas.” Nitrous oxide takes minutes to go into effect and will wear off almost immediately after your procedure is done. Those taking nitrous oxide often say their experience has been very pleasant.
Other methods of dental sedation come in pill form, or “oral sedation,” which can be taken the night before your dental visit or several hours before arriving to your appointment. Oral sedation makes people feel more drowsy than nitrous oxide and its effects can last 2 to 8 hours after your dental visit.
Why Do I Have Dental Anxiety?
There are many reasons why people experience dental anxiety. Anxiety can stem from a bad dental experience you had in the past, or from listening to “alarming” stories you have heard. Anxiety can also be triggered by seeing dental equipment, hearing a drill, or derive from the smell of chemicals.
Once you identify what aspect of the dental treatment is causing you anxiety you can begin to address it and work to minimize and overcome these feelings. This will create a relaxed path to lifetime of healthy dental treatment.
If you experience dental anxiety, knowing you are not alone can help reduce your uneasiness. While understanding this is a common issue can reduce some of your concerns, the great news is there are methods available that can erase your anxiety. From communicating, to planning ahead, to breathing techniques, and more you can conquer your fear of the dentist. Start by talking to your dentist about which strategies are best for you.
Our Walled Lake Dental Practice offers sedation dentistry to help minimize your anxiety and enhance your experience. It is a great alternative to traditional dental care for those with dental anxiety. Dr. Hechtman and his trained staff have extensive training from leading sedation dentistry specialists and are your best choice to gain control of your anxiety.
Offering a full range of dental services including cosmetic dentistry, restorative dentistry and children’s dentistry we want our patients to have the most positive dental experience possible. Call our Walled Lake Dental Office today for a Free Consultation!