Making A Dent In Dental Anxiety
A trip to the dentist's office can be a frightening event for many people. Dental phobia is the most common fear among adults today, with one in five people making dental visits only when absolutely necessary. Between 5% and 8% of the population are so anxious about dental procedures that they avoid visiting the dentist altogether.
Avoiding the dentist because of a phobia could take a toll on your oral health. If you experience feelings of anxiousness or dread when visiting the dentist, you need to be proactive in finding ways to overcome your dental fears.
Speak with your dentist outside the exam room.
It's important that you communicate with your dentist if you have a serious dental phobia. Sitting in an exam chair can cause your anxiety to mount. If you let your dentist know about your fears, he or she can conduct the consultation in an office instead of in an exam chair.
Explaining your symptoms and asking your dentist for advice in his or her office eliminates the tools, exam chair, and scents that are present within an exam room that can trigger your dental anxiety.
Try to make and keep regular appointments.
Although it can be challenging for a patient with dental anxiety to make and keep regular appointments, doing so can be beneficial in reducing the severity of the dental treatments that need to be received.
Regular care allows your dentist to spot potential problems before they become advanced. This gives your dentist the option of treating your dental problems using minimally invasive procedures that won't cause as much fear and anxiety as oral surgery or advanced dental procedures would.
Invest in sedation dentistry.
If you are unable to manage your dental anxiety on your own, it can be beneficial to invest in sedation dentistry. This type of dentistry puts you under the effect of a general anesthesia. You are placed "under" just enough to fully relax your mind and body, but not so far under that you are unable to respond to questions asked by the dentist.
Despite being mostly cognizant throughout a sedation dentistry session, many patients have no recollection of the time they spend in a dentist's chair while under sedation.
Using sedation dentistry can be an effective way to get the dental care you need without worrying about debilitating anxiety taking over. Ask your dentist about sedation dentistry for future appointments.