As the haunting season approaches and the temptation of candy looms, you may be wondering where you could go to escape the ravages of sugar-filled treats. Your dentist may offer a solution that is both comforting and good for your oral health. Many Americans don’t go to the dentist regularly enough, and many times it’s due to dental anxiety.
Continue reading to learn about dental anxiety and ways that you can alleviate it to help your teeth survive a night of Halloween fright.
What Is Dental Anxiety?
Dental anxiety is a feeling of fear or apprehension when thinking about going to the dentist or undergoing dental procedures. According to research done by the Cleveland Clinic as many as 36 percent of the world’s population have dental anxiety in some form.
This will not only make it hard for sufferers to go to the dentist for regular treatment but can also have lasting effects on their dental health. There are conditions that only dentists can address, so being unable to have your teeth fixed due to fear is more frightening than any ghost or ghoul!
What Can Cause Dental Anxiety?
Dental anxiety can develop for a number of reasons, no zombies or spiders are required. Bad experiences as a child can have a lasting impact on the way you feel about the dentist. It could also develop later in life due to an unpleasant incident or hearing about one from a friend.
It could even be triggered by sights or sounds. The instruments dentists use make strange noises and could be scary for some patients. Seeing those instruments could also be scary, giving you images of surgery or something else that makes you nervous.
What Are Some Ways to Alleviate Dental Anxiety?
There are several ways that you can make going to the dentist less like a Nightmare on Elm Street and more like It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.
For General Anxiety
Something that will help a lot when you’re afraid of going to the dentist is communicating that anxiety with the staff. If your dental hygienist and dentist are both aware of your fear, they can take steps to make it easier.
For Specific Anxieties
If there’s something specific you’re worried about, like whether you can have X-rays after surgery, call ahead. It’s completely fine to call your dentist’s office and ask about specific procedures and services you may have an issue with.
For Sight Anxiety
If something in the dentist’s office triggers your anxiety on sight, ask your dentist to remove it from the area. If this isn’t possible, consider wearing an eye mask that could block your sight.
For Sound Anxiety
If the sound of the instruments causes you to be anxious, consider wearing your earbuds during the procedure or having your dentist talk to you as a distraction. Some patients even find it comforting to hear specifics about what the dentist is doing.
If you’re afraid of the dentist, there are ways that you can mitigate that fear. Remember that you’re not alone, and you don’t have to be silent about it. Your dentist isn’t a vampire, they’re a professional who’s there to help you achieve your dream smile.
About the Author
Dr. Travis Rottman is a skilled dentist passionate about offering the best patient care possible. He understands that relationships are important to the process and approaches each with patience and trust. Dr. Rottman earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the Texas A&M Baylor College of Dentistry and has additional training in oral conscious sedation. To schedule an appointment at Sachse Family Dentistry, call (972) 848-0073 or visit the website to learn more.