Wednesday, June 12, 2024

How To Get Over Dental Phobia

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Come And Chat With Professionals Over Coffee To Find Out What We Can Offer

Here’s How You Can Overcome Dental Anxiety

Heres an idea if youd like to start by making personal contact about your dental anxiety in a no pressure environment. Its also free!

Book to come along to a treatment advisor consultation. This takes place in a non-clinical environment, so you wont have to face the look and feel of a dental surgery, which we know some people find intimidating. We’ll have a chat over tea and coffee, so you can be yourself and know that youre talking to actual people about your unique situation. We find it really does put peoples minds at rest.

Our treatment advisors are dental professionals with years of experience. They are key members of our team who are especially skilled in talking to people who may be anxious about facing dental treatment. Youll be able to share whatever is on your mind, and they’ll explain what we can do to make your visits far more manageable and easier to face.

So now when youre thinking about the dentists, think of anxiety as something we can definitely help you manage. At Pure, you’re not on your own. Knowing how to reduce dental anxiety is something we’re passionate about.

Confide In Your Dentist

Being honest with your dentist about your dental phobia is one of the best ways to make the experience more positive. If your dentist is aware of your fears, they can provide suggestions for how to get over dental anxiety and work with you to create an environment youre comfortable in. They might be able to offer you sedation options as part of your treatment.;

Remember: Modern Dentistry Is A World Away From The Old Days

One step toward overcoming your fears might be to consider where that dental phobia comes from in the first place. Are you like many people, who picked up in childhood the thought that the dentist was a scary place? The thing is, years ago, trips to the dentist were very different to now. Technology and equipment was far less sophisticated. Pain relief was nowhere near as effective. Staff awareness and training wasnt anything like today’s high standards. In fact, for our parents and grandparents, the whole experience of a trip to the dentist was understandably something people dreaded rather than looked forward to. No wonder many of us have grown up with real fears, even if we’ve never had a bad dental experience ourselves.

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How To Get Over A Dental Phobia

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It is far from an uncommon problem. A lot of people have a dental phobia or, put in simpler terms, being afraid of the dentist. Some of these fears stem from bad experiences, while others arise from the understandable worry about people taking tools to your mouth. However, everyone needs help from the dentist, so putting aside these fears is necessary. But, how do you get over being scared of the dentist? Lets talk about the phobia that concerns fear, anxiety, and stress in dental patients.

Avoid Other Stresses On The Day Of Your Appointment

Dentophobia? Heres How to Get over Your Fear of the Dentist

If your dental anxiety is severe, try to make the day of your appointment as serene as possible in other areas of your life. If you can, book the appointment on a day youre off work and ensure you dont have anywhere pressing to be immediately afterwards. Plan something fun for yourself later in the day to look forward to if you can, like a relaxing bath or a movie night.

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Dental Anxiety In Children

When it comes to the dentist, it can be a nightmare for both parent and child if theres a high level of fear involved.

I outline some details in an article on pediatric dental anxiety. Here are the basics:

  • Children tend to be less anxious after their first visit is out of the way. Your efforts to make visit #1 as peaceful as possible will be worth it!
  • In addition to many of the reasons adult patients are scared of the dentist, young patients may also feel a fear of obstructed breathing and a general fear of the unknown.
  • Its best to start dental visits the first time your baby/toddler cuts a tooth. Developing a positive view of dentists upfront goes a long way towards developing good dental habits.
  • If youre afraid of the dentist, your child will pick up on it. In situations with very anxious parents, I recommend considering another family member come with the child to avoid the child vicariously learning the same fear.
  • Communication is key for pediatric dental patients. Talk through each step with your child before it happens. Make sure s/he knows how to ask the dentist to stop if s/he experiences discomfort. Reinforce the fact that they arent totally powerless in the situation.
  • For very anxious children, consider talking them through the process the week leading up to their visit. My granddaughter loves to read a book about visiting the dentist before her appointments .
  • Choose A Dentist Who You Trust

    Your fear may not be of a specific dentist, but knowing the dentist you are going to see, and taking the time to talk with them can help put you at ease. If they have a good bedside manner, you can start to build a trusting relationship.

    On the other hand, lets say you see a dentist who doesnt listen to your fears and doesnt seem to care about concerns that matter to you. This experience can heighten your existing anxiety about the dental office.

    Also, gather information to help inform you about what to expect at future appointments. Ask them about what treatments involve, for example. Ask them to describe the kinds of sensations you are likely to feel to help you emotionally prepare for the visits to come.

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    Experienced Dentists Use The Following Medications To Reduce Anxiety And Control Pain:

    • Nitrous oxide: Commonly known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is used to calm patients for more complicated dental surgeries.;
    • For intense teeth cleanings, your hygienist may use anesthetic gels or special patches.;
    • If youre extra nervous, your dentist may recommend a sedative for your procedure.
    • Your dentist may use a rub some cetacaine;on your gums to numb them before minor dental work.
    • For fillings and other dental procedures, your dentist may inject a local anesthetic into your gums.

    If you have any preferences or concerns, make sure to discuss them all with your dentist prior to your procedure, and make sure you have someone ready to pick you up from your appointment.;

    For involved surgeries, like wisdom teeth pulling, your dentist will also prescribe an extra strength pain medication for your recovery.;

    Take Better Care Of Your Oral Health

    Dental Health : How to Get Over Dental Anxiety

    Easing dental anxiety can begin at home. You may have existing oral health concerns due to neglect. While you do need to address those, upping your oral health routine at home can help you feel more confident going into the dentists office. Things you can do include the following:

    • Avoiding using tobacco
    • Cutting out sugary foods and drinks
    • Eating more tooth-building proteins and fewer carbs
    • Brushing your teeth at least twice daily using fluoride-based toothpaste
    • Flossing daily
    • Replacing your toothbrush every three months

    Boosting your confidence going into the dentists office sets the stage for a better experience overall.

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    Causes Of Dental Anxiety

    Anxiety, fear, phobias: While they may be all in your head, events, feelings or experiences can cause them, whether they relate to going to the dentist or not.

    As you are unique, you come to the dentist with your individual history. This history shapes your perceptions and fears, and it can profoundly impact your experience regardless of the dentist.;The more you understand what shapes your anxiety and fears take, the better you will be able to address them.

    People fear the dentist for a variety of reasons. Your reason may be one of the ones below, or something else entirely.

    • Negative experiences:;When exploring dental anxiety, consider the events of the past. It doesnt even have to be in a dentists chair to create a lasting fear. It could be watching a horror movie as a child or another movie involving a scary dentist. This perception can affect your reality and can generate extreme anxiety over going to the dentist.
    • Feelings of loss of control:;Some people find they arent able to relinquish control when theyre in the dentists chair. For example, you might not be able to handle the vulnerability, and are unwilling to let the dentist take over.

    Take time to assess the probable cause of your anxiety and start addressing those potential causes on your own. You can begin with the tips for dealing with dental anxiety discussed below.

    How Dental Choice Can Help You Manage Your Dental Anxiety

    Dental Choice offers a variety of tools and services designed to ease anxiety and help you feel more comfortable throughout your visit. Not only are we willing to discuss your anxiety and work out a series of hand signals you can use to help ease your concerns, but we also offer sedation techniques to help ease your fears about treatment.;Not all patients are suitable for sedation dentistry. We will help identify if one of our sedation methods is a suitable choice for you.

    We offer the following three types of sedation dentistry for our adult patients:

  • Oral sedatives
  • Nitrous oxide, sometimes called laughing gas
  • IV sedation
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    Find A Dentist Who Uses Therapy Dogs In Their Practice

    As it turns out, therapy dogs at the dentist can be quite the balm to an anxious patient.

    My sweet pup, Remy, has been a therapy dog in my office from time to time. He was even featured on a local news website in 2014 for his hard work!

    Featured below is Remy with my wife, Roseann, as she preps for dental work.

    A 2018 study found that a therapy dog in the waiting room of a pediatric dental office helped reduce anxiety after just 15 minutes.

    Another clinical trial in 2019 this time with adult patients found that both the patients personal experience and blood pressure during the appointment decreased when holding a therapy dog.

    Not a big fan of dogs? Thats okay! Just make sure the office staff is aware you dont want to interact with a therapy dog on site.

    Use Cbd Oil Before Dental Work

    How to Get Over Your Dental Fear

    In order to get away from pharmaceuticals, I started implementing the use of CBD oil in my practice several years ago.

    Theres no research that shows exactly how CBD might work within a dental practice, but it does seem to help soothe nervousness in general. I often recommend my patients who are apprehensive about their visit take CBD the night before and the morning of their dental appointment.

    Some reports state that CBD is safe and effective in children, but its limited. Talk to your healthcare provider before trying CBD with your kids.

    There are contraindications for CBD, particularly for how it reacts with heart medications or other prescription drugs.;My article on CBD covers many of these contraindications, but its a good idea to talk to your general healthcare provider before trying CBD, especially if you take any prescription medication.

    The dosage is yet unclear, but I recommend starting taking around 90 milligrams to see how it may help with your anxiety.

    Note: While THC has some potential to calm the nerves, CBD actually works most effectively for many people. THC can increase anxious feelings, so I suggest understanding how you interact with these different substances before trying them out.

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    Take Something To Listen To

    Distractions can be a great way of diverting your attention while youâre undergoing treatment. If youâre nervous about sitting in the dentistâs chair, we recommend taking something to listen to. Putting some soothing music on, or perhaps your favourite album, can be great for getting you a little more relaxed. Another great option is to listen to an audiobook or podcast. You could listen to these in the waiting room as well as when youâre in the dental chair. The funnier the better!

    Tips To Ease Dental Fear

    If you’re;anxious about seeing the dentist, here are some tips to ease the fear:

    • Find an understanding dentist. Ask friends and family, or look for someone who specialises in treating anxious patients. Search for your local dentists here.
    • Once you’ve found someone you think may be suitable, visit the surgery to have a look around, meet the receptionist and dentist and see the environment. Tell the dentist that you’re anxious and what your fears are, so they know beforehand.
    • Pick an appointment time early in the morning so you have less time to dwell on;it.
    • The first appointment will simply be a check-up so don’t worry about having any treatment. See;this first;visit;as your chance to;get to know the dentist.
    • Take a friend with you to your appointment. The dentist won’t mind if they accompany you throughout the check-up or treatment.
    • Agree a;sign with the dentist to signal that you need a break and want them to stop. It can be as simple as pointing your finger, and will help you feel more in control.
    • If you think it will help, start gradually with a clean and polish then work up to other treatments, such as fillings, once you’ve built up trust and rapport with your dentist.
    • Talk to the dentist about using a numbing gel if you have a fear of needles.
    • Use headphones to listen to music during your visit. It may help you relax.

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    Recognizing The Signs Of Dental Phobia

    Fear of visiting the dentist can be a serious problem. It can cause serious panic and distress. Here are signs that you may have a dental phobia worth addressing.

    • You avoid visiting the dentist until you experience severe pain.
    • You have problems sleeping on the nights leading up to your dental visits.
    • You feel uneasy while waiting in the dental office.
    • You feel physically ill when thinking about going to the dentist.
    • You have difficulty breathing when you’re in the chair, getting dental care.

    Common Reasons People Fear Going To The Dentist

    How to get over your fear of the dentist!

    There are a number of reasons people avoid the dentist. They include:

    • A painful or unpleasant past experience: Dental fear often starts in childhood. It could stem from an unpleasant or painful past experience at the dentist, or from horror stories people hear from others or the media. Thanks to the many advances in dentistry made over the years, most of todays dental procedures involve considerably less pain and often none at all.
    • Fear of needles: When it comes to dental procedures, many people are terrified of needles. Others fear that the anesthesia wont work on them, or that it wont kick in before the procedure begins.
    • Embarrassment: Whether they let a toothache linger for too long or feel embarrassed about their teeth, some people fear being judged or shamed by their dentist. Or they might feel afraid of getting bad news.
    • Loss of control: Many people are uncomfortable with the dentist or hygienist working so physically close to their face.;Others feel self-conscious or out of control when theyre sitting in a dentists chair with mouth wide open, unable to see whats going on.

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    A2z Dental Is Here For You

    If youve been struggling with how to get over dental anxiety, A2Z Dental can help. We understand that dealing with dental anxiety is challenging and can offer solutions like sleep dentistry to provide a more positive experience for our patients.;

    You can book an appointment online or call one of our two Queensland locations in Rockhampton or Emerald to discuss your next dental appointment with our compassionate and dedicated team.;

    Drawbacks Of Dental Fear

    As Ive mentioned, the major issue with ignoring a fear of the dentist is that your dental health is going to suffer. Even with a near-perfect diet and incredible dental hygiene routines, most people will still develop hardened tartar and calculus that need to be removed to avoid developing cavities, gum disease, and other problems.

    Keep in mind that prevention is always the most inexpensive and least painful way to address dental treatment. A simple cleaning may cause brief tooth sensitivity, but it goes a long way in preventing painful recovery from major dental work.

    Sadly, dental anxiety drives people to visit the dentist only when problems become symptomatic. This almost always means that a restoration or more invasive treatment of some kind is required. For instance, cavities can be reversed but you typically have to catch the decay early, before its caused pain.

    Were not just talking about oral health here gum disease, which begins with gingivitis, can eventually turn into a very painful condition. Not only will the disease and treatments all cause pain, but periodontitis/gum disease is also connected to many systemic health concerns, such as diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimers.

    In summary: Avoiding the dentist will only make it worse in the long run. That isnt meant to scare you more, but to encourage you to address your anxiety sooner rather than later.

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    Fear Of The Dental Chair

    Are you afraid of visiting the dentist? Its possible that as many as twenty percent of Americans worry before an appointment, and many of them avoid regular check-ups due to extreme fear. Unlike phobias that dont need addressing, routine dental appointments are too vital to your health to skip.

    There are many reasons that you might fear the dentist. Perhaps you had a painful experience in the dental chair when you were young. Maybe your dental terror stems from

    • A fear that the dentist will cause you pain
    • Fear of shots and the thought that they might not work
    • Panic when you hear the sound of the drill
    • The nervousness of having someone working in your mouth
    • The embarrassment that you havent taken care of your teeth

    Whatever the root cause of your fear, the fact remains that your dental health is critical to your overall health.

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