Saturday, July 13
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The Dentist’s Guide to Helping Patients with Dental Anxiety

Do dental visits scare you? Are you hesitant to see a dentist due to an unexplained fear creeping in? Fear is an unpleasant emotion of being afraid of the threat of danger, threat, pain, or harm. This may deprive you of several things, one such aspect being oral care. Fear of visiting your dentist is common among many individuals of all ages. This can lead to neglecting your oral health altogether. 

To overcome dental fear and anxiety, the specialists at the Fairfield, ME dental office offer several useful tips.

Exploring the reasons for dental fear and anxiety 

Dental fear or phobia can affect any age group, and there could be several triggering factors. These include: 

  • Negative feelings associated with your dentist, especially if you had a bad experience in the past. 
  • Fear of being embarrassed about your tooth condition.
  • Hearing someone else discuss their dental fear can spark the same phobia in you. 
  • You may fear the needle prick during the administration of anesthesia. Sometimes side effects of anesthesia, such as temporary numbness of the lips, can also trigger fear. 
  • You may panic or feel anxious due to the fear of blood (hemophobia) during dental procedures. 
  • Dental procedures may be accompanied by pain and discomfort that could cause anxiety. 
  • Sound or noise produced by drills and dental instruments during the procedure.
  • You may become anxious due to the smell of dental cement and other materials. 

Useful tips to cope with dental fear and anxiety

Here are some promising tips to help you overcome dental fear:

  • Express your concerns and fears openly with your dentist. 
  • Schedule a session with your dentist before the procedure to talk about your goals and expectations. 
  • Get familiarized with the clinic environment and discuss your anxiety management choices 
  • Establish a signal such as raising a hand to indicate when you need a break during the dental procedure
  • Practice deep breathing, visualization, or muscle relaxation techniques before and during the dental procedure
  • Distract yourself by listening to music through headphones during dental procedures
  • Discuss sedation options with your dentist to relax yourself
  • Begin with less invasive dental procedures and gradually accustom yourself to advanced dental treatments

Dental anxiety and fear should not be ignored and addressed appropriately to ensure proper oral health maintenance. This can be quite challenging unless you have a compassionate dentist on board for you. Overcoming dental anxiety demands patience and persistence, as well as consistent efforts to gradually diminish the fear and discomfort associated with dental visits. With dedication, perseverance, and the support of your dental professionals, it is possible to cultivate a more positive and comfortable dental experience.