How to Overcome Dental Anxiety

young man sitting and looking worried

Do you get nervous before you visit the dentist? You are not alone. Studies show that over 75% of adults experience some sort of fear around dental visits. There’s even a scientific term for it: odontophobia. But how can you maintain optimal oral health if you can’t find the courage to face the dentist?

Why Do People Fear the Dentist?

Many people develop dental anxiety based on traumatic past experiences at the dentist or from hearing about other’s traumatic past experiences. Dealing with an impersonal, cold dentist or a enduring a very painful procedure could leave a lasting negative impact on one’s outlook towards dental care. Some people also don’t like the feeling of losing control, especially over being able to speak, even if they are only in the dentist’s chair for a short period of time.

The first step in overcoming your fears is to keep in mind is that not all dentists are created equal: there are many easy ways to research top-rated dentist in your area that prioritize your comfort and care. Dental procedures have also come a very long way in terms of lessening and even eliminating pain, too. In other words, the likelihood of having a bad experience with a dentist is much less than it was even a few years ago.

Ways to Manage Dental Anxiety

Even with the modern comforts many dental clinics have to offer, visits can still trigger unwanted memories and fears. After finding a dentist that you know you can trust, try closing your eyes and taking deep a few breaths before your appointment to ease your nerves. You can also ask your dentist if you can listen to your favorite music when you sit in the dentist’s chair as a distraction.

If simple relaxation techniques don’t do the trick, you can also opt for sedation dentistry, which we offer here at Growing Smiles. Also known as sleep dentistry, sedation dentistry uses laughing gas, oral conscious sedation (which is given in pill form), or general anesthesia to ease patients into relaxation. All three are safe even for children, effective, and will help you feel at ease during any type of procedure, be it a cleaning or wisdom tooth removal. Depending on which sedation type you choose, you can be conscious or in a deep sleep during your appointment.

To learn more about sedation dentistry and to discuss your treatment options, give us a call today.

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