If you are burdened with dental anxiety, you are one in millions. About 20 percent of the U.S. population is so fearful of dentists they avoid routine treatment. Panic alone keeps approximately eight percent of Americans out of the dental chair even for emergencies.
Not visiting your dentist can have serious consequences such as tooth decay, pain, and gum disease. It can also have a negative impact on your overall health. Severe mouth infections can travel to other parts of the body, ultimately causing heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
5 Ways to Battle Dental Anxiety
Fortunately, there are many ways to combat dental anxiety and get the treatment you need to maintain good health.
- Take Someone You Trust with You to Dentist Visits: If the idea of seeing a dentist is too overwhelming, invite a friend, family member or other trusted individual to accompany you. Having a good support system can be a great help. A trusted companion can help put you at ease and make the visit go smoother.
- Focus on a Calming Distraction: Many people can’t stand the sounds of dental equipment, it worsens existing anxiety. Patients who find the sound of such tools to be unbearable, it can be helpful to seek a distraction that will relax you. Some dental practices offer headphones or have TVs in the examination rooms.
- Use Relaxation Techniques: You can reduce anxiety and stress levels significantly by implementing methods of relaxation before and during your appointment. Practice deep breathing, meditation, and muscle relaxation techniques the next time you are consumed by anxiety over a pending dentist visit.
- Remember You are in Control: Research has shown that many patients feel out of control in terms of their dentist-induced anxiety. This is very understandable, considering we don’t always know how to manage what we feel. After all, it can be very unpleasant having a dental professional hover over you and prod around inside your mouth with sharp tools. If the loss of control is what you are fearful of, keep in mind that in this case, you are always the one in charge of your situation. Control starts with a stream of communication. Make your dentist aware of your anxiety ahead of time so efforts can be put in place to ensure your comfort.
- Ask About Sedation Dentistry: Sedation dentistry is an amazing treatment for patients battling with dental anxiety. Safe and effective methods of oral sedation have become very common in the U.S. to help calm anxious patients. The good things are that this is a simple approach that does not require needles. Patients are in a restful state of consciousness throughout dental procedures and wake without worries.
At West Road Dental, we don’t want anyone to be too scared to seek dental treatment. Our dedicated team believes in healthy smiles and healthy bodies! We provide our patients in Houston and the surrounding areas the best dental care in the most comfortable setting possible.