Do You Experience a Fear or Deep Anxiety When You Visit Your Dentist?
Does the Sound of a Dentist’s Drill Make You Queasy?
If so, you’re not the only one. Surveys show that from 9% to 20% of Americans avoid visiting their dentist because of anxiety or fear. This phobia can be quite serious, because patients who experience this condition usually are aware that their fears are irrational, but are still unable to overcome them. This leads to patients avoiding the dentist at all costs, thus not getting the proper preventative care that they need.
- Sick or uneasy feeling while in the waiting room
- Sleeplessness the night before a dental appointment
- Uneasy feeling or difficulty breathing at the appearance or sound of dental tools
So How Do You Deal with Your Dental Anxiety?
There are several tips and suggestions for overcoming your fears. Of course, if your anxiety is really bad, always consult a physician, but for the majority, the tips below should help make a difference.
Speak to Your Dentist
Make an appointment with your dentist as a “no tools involved” consultation. Just sit down with your dentist and talk about what queues up your fears. Most dentist will be happy to find a way to help you to deal with them while providing you with the dental care that you need.
Come Up With a Signal
Decide on a signal that you can use and your dentist will recognize when you need a break during dental procedures.
Listen to Music
Some people are more agitated by the sound of the dental tools than the actual procedure. Bring music and headphones to drown out those sounds and to help you relax.
Bring a Friend
Sometimes we find power in numbers. Just having a good friend by your side can make all the difference in coping with anxiety.
In more severe cases, you may need to consider speaking to a professional physician about medication or sedation dentistry, but always have the guidance from a medical professional on these matters.
In the end, we just want you to relax and not fear the dentist. Your dental care is our priority and we don’t want your fears to prevent you from getting the dental care you need. If you are looking for a local dentist that you can talk to about dental phobia, contact the office at Dr. Baxley. We’re always happy to help.