Nervous about going to the Dentist?
For those who get sweaty palms and a sick feeling in their stomach just thinking about going to the dentist, just know that you are not alone. Experts say that about 20% of Americans have a real anxiety or fear of the dentist. This fear actually keeps a lot of people from seeking dental care, even when they know they should go in for regular check-ups or need treatment.
Some people actually have a dental phobia, which is an even more serious condition than anxiety. This phobia can actually cause panic attacks and leave people terrified of receiving dental treatment. People who have this phobia have symptoms including sleeplessness before their scheduled appointments, crying, becoming physically ill, and having difficulty breathing.
Next, we investigate some helpful tips that can benefit those individuals who have a form of dental anxiety.
One of the big reasons we have anxiety about the dentist is our fear of pain. This fear usually stems from a prior experience in life. What we have to remember is that many incredible advances have been made in modern dentistry over the years. What this means is that most of the dental procedures performed today are usually either pain free or performed with appropriate sedation or numbing. Remember to remind yourself of this fact prior to your appointment. In addition, talk to us before your appointment and let us know your specific fears and concerns. If your dentist knows of your fears, he or she can take the appropriate steps to ensure you are relaxed and at ease during your exam.
Lack of control is another big stressor for people. This issue can be combated by being actively involved in your dental treatment. Communication with us is key in easing your tension. If you are with a well trained and experienced dentist he or she will take your feelings into consideration and accommodate your situation.
Ask your dentist to explain exactly what is happening at every stage of your treatment. You may find it easier to mentally prepare for what is to come. This is a great way to ease tension during an appointment. You can also establish a signal with your dentist, such as raising your hand, when you need your dentist to stop or take a break. Sometimes you just need to catch your breath for a moment.
Sometimes, the environment of a dental office can help us tremendously. Look for a dental office that plays soothing music, leaves instruments and dental equipment hidden from sight as much as possible, and is filled with friendly and helpful staff. When it does not feel or smell like a dentist office it can soothe some of your fears and anxiety.
Lastly, for those who require a little bit more to relax and have a harder time getting through procedures, there is always sedation dentistry for longer procedures. Depending on the level of relaxation you require, sedation can help you feel more relaxed, or at times, may even help you not remember much of an invasive procedure at all.
Now that you have received an overview of some of these helpful tips to relieve anxiety and stress associated with a dental exam, you can take the next step and schedule and appointment with our experienced and trusted office, Kathleen Mullaney DDS, today! Call Paige for more information 703-548-8584