Dr. E’s “Tricks” for Conquering Your Dental Fears
Halloween is almost upon us! Does going to the dentist give you a fright? Perhaps you have a fear of needles or drills – or you dread feeling like you have a lack of control when you sit in the dental chair. Rest assured that you’re not alone. It is estimated that approximately 3-16% of all adults suffer from some degree of dental phobia. The key is to not let your fear of going to the dentist get in the way of your oral health! So read on to learn about conquering your dental fears.
If you’re reading this, you’re in for a “treat!” Here are some quick and helpful “tricks” from Dr. E to help you, or someone you love, face and conquer common dental fears:
Just Do It. Has your fear of seeing the dentist caused you to put off your dental appointment for months (or maybe even years)? Stop procrastinating and make (and keep) the appointment! Don’t let your anxiety or embarrassment prevent you from picking up the phone and scheduling your next check-up, no matter how overdue it may be. Today, many dentists are highly experienced in helping patients cope with dental anxiety. The Dr. E Cosmetic & Family Dentistry team is exceptionally compassionate when it comes to making patients of all ages feel at ease during their visits. No matter how behind you are in your dental visits, Dr. E is ready to help you address and manage your dental fears in order to get your dental health back on track!
Distract Yourself. Good for you… you’ve made the appointment and you’ve arrived at the dental office! If your palms are sweaty and your heart is racing, you can use these proven techniques to help ease your anxiety from the moment you check-in until you leave the dental chair:
- Pop in your air pods or earbuds and listen to some soothing or upbeat music in the waiting area
- Let your dentist know that you are anxious so that the dental team can provide you with some extra TLC throughout your visit
- Practice deep breathing and/or meditation in the waiting area and even in the dental chair
- Use mindfulness techniques and guided imagery to envision yourself in your “happy place” during the appointment
- As you sit in the dental chair, release tension by slowly focusing on relaxing each muscle area of your body
- Schedule your next appointment before you leave – this will help ensure that any lingering fears don’t interfere with keeping your dental health on track
Conquering Severe Dental Phobia. While approximately 36% of the population fears going to the dentist, an additional 12% of people suffer from extreme dental anxiety. If you fall into this category, there are special strategies your dentist can employ so that your fears don’t ultimately interfere with preserving your smile. Your dentist may be willing to give you laughing gas to relax you, or upon consultation with your primary doctor, a single-dose anxiety relief medication such as temazepam may be administered prior to the appointment to help relax you. In the most severe cases of dental anxiety, a general anesthesia may be administered by a specialist so that you can “sleep” through your appointment while the necessary dental care or treatments are administered by your dentist.
No matter where your dental fears derive from, they don’t have to get in the way of your oral health! The Dr. E Cosmetic & Family Dentistry team treats patients of all ages with compassion, understanding and an abundance of TLC.
Contact Dr. E’s office today to maintain your smile and keep your dental health on track! 480-494-2435