At Stuart Curry Dentistry, our goal is to help each patient feel comfortable, relaxed, and totally at ease. Unfortunately, research has shown that between 50-80 percent of people suffer from some level of dental anxiety. In severe cases, people will simply avoid seeking dental treatment, even when they’re in pain and suffering a dental emergency. If you suffer from dental anxiety, know that you’re not alone. At Stuart Curry Dentistry, we have helped many of our patients overcome their fear of dental treatment. In this article, we’ll go over what you can do to ease your anxiety, so you can seek the dental treatment you need to maintain good oral health and your beautiful smile.
5 Simple Tips To Overcome Anxiety when visiting a Dentist
The following tips can help anxious people take the steps to move past their dental fears and anxiety and receive the dental care they need to maintain a beautiful smile.
1. Find a Compassionate Dentist and Special Needs Dentistry
The right dentist can make a big difference. When you’re treated by a dentist who’s compassionate and understanding of your dental fears, you’ll feel more confident and comfortable about the care you’ll receive.
A good dentist will offer:
- A caring and compassionate staff
- A dental office with an atmosphere that is comfortable
- Simple answers to any questions you may have about dental procedures
- High-tech, personalized dental treatments
2. Relaxation Techniques & Sedation Dentistry Options for Anxious Patients
Before your dental appointment, take some time to focus on relaxing to get in the right mindset. Many people find controlled breathing, yoga, or meditation to be very helpful.
If you have extreme anxiety, discuss with your dentist the types of sedation techniques that can help you further.
In some cases, sedative medication and/or nitrous oxide sedation are needed to help minimize anxiety. We can discuss the possibilities of sedative medications and create a customized regimen for your specific needs. These medications have proven to be effective and safe for managing anxiety.
3. Bring a Family Member or Friend
Bring a family member or friend with you to your appointment. You can have them wait in the lobby or in the room with you. Having a supportive person close by can help you feel more relaxed and safer.
4. Arrive at Your Appointment Early
Getting to your appointment at the last minute can add to your anxiety. Plan on arriving at your appointment 15 minutes early to give yourself enough time to mentally prepare and fill out any necessary paperwork.
5. Be Open About Your Anxiety with Your Dentist
Unfortunately, dental anxiety is very common and many people find themselves struggling to keep their anxiety at a manageable level. In some cases, anxiety can be so severe that it prevents a person from seeking dental treatment for years. However, at our facility, we have a lot of experience helping people with dental anxiety. If you suffer from anxiety, be sure to let us know how you feel and what your concerns are. Your dentist wants to give you the special attention and personalized care you need to help you have a safe and relaxed experience.
What Causes Dental Anxiety?
At Stuart Curry Dentistry, we know that visiting the dentist can be very stressful for some patients. If you suffer from dental anxiety, we’re here to help. At your appointment, we will ensure you feel relaxed and comfortable. We will answer all of your questions and provide the best possible experience.
If you’re still hesitant to go to the dentist because you’re overcome your anxiety, it can really help to understand why it’s there in the first place.
Fear of Pain
Many people assume that going to the dentist is going to be a painful experience. Fortunately, advances in dentistry have made it possible for patients to receive the care they need, without pain and discomfort. Modern dentistry techniques are more gentle and comfortable compared to invasive and painful treatments of the past, resulting in virtually pain-free dentistry. Additionally, a good dentist will do everything in their power to ensure that you’re not in any pain during treatment.
Fear of the Unknown and Lack of Control
For some, sitting back in a dentist’s chair and waiting for the dentist to begin treatment can be very nerve-wracking. It can also make a person feel claustrophobic. In many cases, the patient does not know what to expect in terms of pain and discomfort. Because a patient may not know what to expect, they may experience anxiety due to a lack of control over the situation.
Speaking with your dentist and asking questions before or during treatment will help you know what to expect and can help relieve or eliminate your anxiety.
Embarrassment About Oral Hygiene
Some people continue to put off going to the dentist for years, simply because they’re embarrassed about the state of their teeth and gums and their poor oral health. But putting off going to the dentist month after month or year after year will only make the problem worse. While a dentist will discuss what changes you can make to your oral hygiene regimen, they will never lecture you or judge you about your past oral hygiene choices. We’re here to help you achieve optimal oral health.
Bad Experience in the Past
In some cases, a person may have anxiety about seeing the dentist because they had a bad past dental experience. There are dentists who do not take the time and effort to provide compassionate care and the best experience for their patients. If you’ve been treated by a dentist like this in the past, you may have avoided seeing a dentist because you’re worried you’ll have a similar experience. A bad dental experience can make a person feel distrustful and unwelcome. But at Stuart Curry Dentistry, we can guarantee that you’ll have the best dental experience possible.
Why Regular Dental Treatment is So Important
Without regular dentist appointments, you may experience a wide range of oral health issues, including:
- Infected teeth
- Tooth decay
- Mouth odors
- Discolored teeth
- Mouth ulcer
- Tooth loss
Regular check-ups from a dental health care professional can ensure you maintain your beautiful smile and address any small problems that could have devastating oral health consequences if left untreated. At our dental office, we want you to feel at ease, from the moment you sit in a dental chair until your treatment is completed. Our caring and compassionate dentists will work with you to help address your fears and explain the procedure and treatment options during a personal consultation so you know what to anticipate.
We’re Here to Help You Achieve Your Oral Health Goals
Throughout your appointment, feel free to voice any of your concerns, let us know if you’re uncomfortable, and ask any questions you may have. Your dental team is here to help. If you have any questions about a specific treatment or instrument, or you’re beginning to feel anxious and you need a break, just let your dentist know.
At Stuart Curry Dentistry, we’ll gladly accommodate your requests, answer your questions, and ensure you remain comfortable and relaxed the entire visit. Contact us today to speak with one of our friendly staff members to schedule an exam.