If you get nervous or feel uneasy before dental appointments, you’re not alone. Perhaps you are scared the visit may hurt or you are worried about what the dentist may find. Dental anxiety is a common mental health condition that affects 40 million Americans every year. Though it is normal to feel some degree of unease with dentists, dental anxiety is used to describe intense feelings of fear, stress, or unease while thinking about the dentist or while being in a dental setting.
For some, dental anxiety can result in avoiding or delaying treatment. If severe enough, dental anxiety can progress into dental phobia leading to the complete avoidance of dentists and their practice. We understand and acknowledge your concerns and anxiety. We will work with you to ease your fears so that you can feel comfortable during your next appointment.
Dental Anxiety and Your Oral Health
It may seem reasonable to skip dental appointments, especially if you are not experiencing any pain, when you have dental anxiety. However, avoiding the dentist can lead to the build-up of plaque and unknown dental conditions worsening, requiring more complex treatments later on or the need for emergency dental care.Postponing dental care and visits can lead to more intensive dental work, feeding the patient’s dental anxiety and unease. Routine dental examinations and cleanings help to prevent dental disease and detect problems early on before they progress. This allows for simpler, less invasive, and more cost-effective treatment options as many dental conditions are preventable.
How We Can Help
One of the most important things you can do to overcome dental anxiety is to open a dialogue between you and your dentist about your feelings. By letting your dental office, dental hygienist, and dentist know about your anxiety, steps can be taken so soothe your anxiety and unease throughout your dental experiences.
We will adjust how we approach your oral health to better fit your needs so your experience can be stress-free. We can establish a signal, such as a raised hand, that will let us know non-verbally during your appointment that you may need to take a break or that you feel uncomfortable. We also offer short acting anti-anxiety medication for added patient comfort.
Our staff acknowledges dental anxiety and dental phobia in patients and will work with you to ease your feelings of anxiety and discomfort. Together, we will help you to achieve better oral health and a brilliant, long-lasting smile. For more information on how we can help you with your dental anxiety, contact us today.