Overcoming Dental Anxiety

MANY OF US, even though we know that going to the dentist is a safe, normal, and important part of life, don’t find it particularly fun to lie flat on our backs while someone pokes around our teeth and gums. For some, though, the very thought of visiting the dentist fills them with anxiety, and it could even be a full-blown phobia. That’s why we’d like to put our focus on helping our patients overcome their dental anxieties and fears.

Dental Anxiety Stats
Fear of going to the dentist is fairly common, with an estimated nine to 15 percent of Americans completely avoiding visiting the dentist because of anxiety and fear. That means up to 40 million Americans are taking a serious gamble with their dental health. Putting off a basic twice-a-year cleaning out of fear leaves patients much more susceptible to tooth decay and painful infection. It’s always better to view dental care as preventative, not just reactive.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Dentist
If you’re worried about going to the dentist, that might be because history and pop culture have given you the wrong idea. Before WWII made anesthetics the norm, dental procedures were uncomfortable, to say the least, but the field has come a long way since then. Modern dental offices maintain a high standard of comfort and care for patients.

Advice For Overcoming Dental Anxiety

Here at Better Smiles Dental Care, we employ a few techniques that helps alleviate anxiety associated with fear of the needle. We place a topical anesthetic gel prior to the shot which numbs the area first and then manipulate the cheeks or lips when injecting the anesthetic. With this technique, most of our patients report not having felt the shots at all which is the most dreaded part of the dental appointment. If the sound of the drill bothers the patient, we provide headphones so that the patient can listen to their own music on their phone or we provide the cd player. We give ample time for the patient to get numb, and always give the patient control by signaling us with a raised hand if they feel pain or if they want us to stop momentarily. We start with short procedures in the first few appointments to gain our patient’s trust and then gradually schedule for longer appointment time. We also have nitrous oxide sedation (laughing gas) for extra fearful patients. On some occasion, we may prescribe a sedative to be taken prior to the appointment time. All these have worked well so far for converting our fearful patients to happy and relaxed patients.

We Will Work With You!
Your care and comfort are our top priorities. If you or someone in your family struggles with dental anxiety and it’s interfering with getting needed dental care, we’d love to schedule a time for you to come to our practice so that you can get used to the facility and get to know our team. We can answer any questions you may have.

We hope to see you soon!


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