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How To Deal With Dental Anxiety

Symptoms Of Dental Anxiety

Here’s How You Can Overcome Dental Anxiety

Some of the common symptoms of dental anxiety include:

  • Upset stomach
  • The urge to cry at the thought of going to the dentist
  • Difficulty sleeping before dental examinations
  • Intense discomfort at the thought of going to the dentist

The more severe the anxiety, the more problematic positive oral health outcomes become if youve put off seeing the dentist for several years.

Fortunately, there are several methods and tools you can use, both in the dentists office and out, to help you figure out how to stay calm at the dentist. The more tools you use to assist you before or during your next dental examination, the better you will equip yourself to manage your anxiety effectively.

Give Them As Much Information As Possible

Children, especially ones with anxiety, tend to do better when theyve got a sense of predictability. They are much more likely to tolerate a procedure when they have been told in advance what to expect. Parents can help with this by describing what will take place and also what sensations the child might experience . It might even be helpful to have the dentist demonstrate the procedure on the parent so the child can see what specifically will occur. This is commonly known as the tell-show-do method. One study in Venezuela found that children assigned to a tell-show-do group had no evidence of increased blood pressure in comparison to the increase experienced by the non-treatment group. The tell-show-do method provides the child with a much needed sense of both control and predictability.

Encourage your child to signal when he needs the dentist to stop the procedure. This is a key component of building communication and trust between the child and the dental practitioner. By helping your child understand that signaling when he needs a rest break is acceptable and encouraged, you are giving him a means of more control over the situation.

Bad Experience In The Past

Were sad to say it, but some dentists dont take the time and effort to provide the best possible experience for patients. If youve ever been to a dentist like this, you may feel scarred from the memory. Whether it was being pressured into a treatment you didnt want or not feeling welcome, these kind of experiences can make you distrustful.

You deserve better.

The good news is, there IS better out there. The trick is to find and work with an honest and trustworthy dentist who will treat you with respect and compassion. We will start with non-invasive, easy appointments so that we build a relationship based on trust and respect for your feelings.

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Practice Meditation And Mindfulness

Meditation is a time-honoured tool for dealing with general anxiety. You can use it to address specific types of anxiety, like the kind you could experience when considering a dental visit. Begin with deep breathing exercises, and return to those anytime your upcoming dental care needs make you feel overwhelmed.

Relaxation starts in the mind. Try deep breathing exercises to help relax tension in your muscles.

  • Count your breaths. Inhale slowly and then exhale for the same number of counts. Do this five times while youre waiting for your appointment, or during breaks while youre sitting in the dental chair.
  • Do a body scan. Concentrate on relaxing your muscles, one body part at a time. Start with your head and work your way down to your toes. For example, you can focus on releasing tension starting in your forehead, then your cheeks, your neck and down the rest of your body.

Do You Have A Dental Phobia

How To Deal With Dental Anxiety

The first step to getting over any phobia or anxiety is to acknowledge that it exists in the first place. If you are avoiding the dentist theres a good chance you have some level of dental anxiety.

Here are some of the most common reasons for dental phobias:

  • Childhood dental experience: the most formative dental memories are created during childhood years.
  • Painful dental experience: The mouth is one of the most heavily nervous areas in the body.
  • Dental related poor self-esteem: Some people fear going to the dentist because they feel embarrassed due to their mouth. This may be due to aesthetic problems and embarrassment with teeth, bad breath, gag reflexes, or chronic pain.

All of these conditions can cause a general fear of people looking at or being close to your mouth, which of course, is the very nature of dental treatment itself.

Here are 4 strategies for beating your dental phobia.

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Overcoming Fear With Prevention

Regular dental checkups and cleanings are always essential to keep your mouth healthy. But it’s the oral care at home that can keep you from needing more complicated dental procedures down the line. Whether or not you have a fear of the dentist, brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, floss at least once daily, and limit sugary snacks between your main courses.

As you and your dentist work to make your visits more relaxed, it won’t take long for fears and stress start to weaken. And as each dental appointment becomes more comfortable, your teeth and gums will become healthier and your smile more confident.

Time To Manage Your Anxiety And Visit The Dentist

No matter where your anxiety about visiting the dentist comes from, its important to confront the issue head on. Ignoring your oral health can lead to some serious concerns down the road so you want to do what you can to manage your fear before it gets to severe. As you can see, there are several things you can do to help reduce your anxiety, but if those methods dont work sedation is a great option for your visit!

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Tips For Easing Dental Fears

  • Ask friends and family. If you dont already have a dentist, ask people you trust about their own dentist and be happy with their provider. Word of mouth is a great way to find a good dentist.
  • Search for a dentist online. Many dental offices have web sites where you can learn about their practices and become familiar with the staff. If you have found a few dental practices that look promising, ask friends and neighbors if they are patients or know anything about them.
  • Talk about your feelings. Once you choose a dentist, make sure you communicate with the dentist and staff. Dont be shy! You are not the first patient who ever felt nervous or anxious. Talking will make your dental experience more relaxed and pleasant.
  • Ask questions. Ask your dental team to inform you about the type of dental treatment they recommend based upon your unique oral health needs. Once a treatment plan has been developed, ask your dentist to explain the procedures in detail. Knowing what to expect before it happens can help put your mind at ease.
  • Try to relax. If you are nervous before going to a professional cleaning or dental procedure, talk to the dentist about making the experience more comfortable. The dentist and staff should make every effort to make your visit comforting and less stressful.
  • What Oral Sedation Techniques Are Available

    How To Deal With Anxiety At The Dentist | EBDG Sleep Dentistry

    There are a number of oral sedation techniques available, including single dose sedation and incremental sedation. Our dentists have advanced training in oral sedation techniques from the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation and will make sure you understand all your options to make your experience as comfortable as possible.

    Single Dose Sedation

    Single dose sedation is a minimum sedation protocol using one dose of oral sedative.

    Incremental Sedation

    Incremental sedation is the administration of small doses of an oral sedative at appropriate intervals to achieve and maintain sedation. This is done to keep the patient at a steady state of sedation, and allows for better control of depth and length of sedation while maintaining the lowest total dose of a medication.

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    Stress At The Thought Of Dental Procedures

    Many people experiencing anxiety symptoms experience stress when they think about the dental procedures that they have to undergo at the dental office. Some people with high anxiety sensitivity report that the sounds they hear at the dentists clinic make them feel afraid and anxious, as they wait for their turn.

    You Are Not Alone In Your Fear

    Though you may feel overwhelmed by the idea of visiting the dentist, it might be helpful to know that you are not alone in this feeling! According to Stats Canada nearly 40% of Canadians have some sort level of fear when it comes to going to the dentist. Chances are your dentist has a fair amount of experience in dealing with anxious and apprehensive patients.

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    Taking The First Step Towards Overcoming Your Fear Of The Dentist

    Often, when confronting a fear or phobia, the first step is the hardest. If you dont know how to deal with dental anxiety, we can help. Once you call us and we can talk you through your options, you will likely feel a little better about coming in for your appointment. And once you come in and meet our staff, we are confident that you will be ready to partner with us so we can help you get the treatment you need in as comfortable a setting as possible. If you need a dentist in Atlanta for anxiety feel free to contact Peach Valley Dental at or schedule an appointment online.

    What Is Dental Anxiety

    How to Deal with Dental Anxiety?

    Dental anxiety is a condition in which you suffer extreme discomfort, nervousness, fear and even panic at the thought of going to the dentist. In more extreme cases, it manifests in very real symptoms.

    Unfortunately, this fear or anxiety causes many people to put off going to the dentist for years, or even decades. Some people avoid seeing the dentist until:

  • Their pain is so intense they can no longer avoid it.
  • They have substantial damage they cannot ignore, which a dentist must address.
  • Fear preventing you from going to the dentist for so long can lead to other oral and overall health conditions. According to the Canadian government, poor oral health links to a variety of major health conditions, including:

    • Heart disease
    • Premature babies
    • Babies with low birth weight

    Good dental care is also instrumental in the prevention of many other major health problems that go far beyond the strength of your teeth. You can prevent extensive damage through regular cleanings, examinations and dental checkups, along with a few minor procedures along the way. Taking care of your teeth is about so much more than protecting the integrity of your smile, and working to overcome dental anxiety so you can get the oral health care you require is critical.

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    The Dental Office Environment

    Dental office ambience can play a significant role in initiating dental fear and anxiety. Receptionists, dental nurses, and dental hygienists are crucial personnel in creating an apt atmosphere in the dental office. They should be positive and caring, and elicit information from the patients in a unhurried concerned tone to make the patients comfortable. The office atmosphere can be made calm and unthreatening by the playing of soft music and avoidance of bright lights. A slightly cooler dental office was preferred by individuals in a study by Bare and Dundes. The walls can be adorned with posters and pictures, the waiting area supplied with ample books and magazines. The sounds produced from the instruments in the treatment room should be muted by closing the door. Importantly, anxious patients should not be made to wait too long, so that they have less time to absorb negative experiences additionally longer waiting times give them time to recall the threatening stimuli.,

    Dental Anxiety And Fear: How To Control Dentophobia

    Statistics show that many people suffer from dental anxiety. Dental anxiety is more serious than just getting sweaty palms at the thought of going to the dentist its a paralyzing fear of dentists or dental treatment.

    Avoiding the dentist not only exposes you to higher risks of dental problems, it can also take a toll on your self-esteem and self-perception. Remember, dental anxiety is not insurmountable, but communicating with your dentist is important. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to this fear, dentists have a special scheme for nervous patients. There are many dentists who have the tools, techniques and caring manner to help make regular dental visits more comfortable and relaxing for you.

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    Technological Advancements That Help Alleviate Anxiety In Restorative Dentistry

    Anxious patients who must undergo restorative procedures are often managed using the 4 S rule or the so-called 4 S principle. This is based on eliminating four of the primary sensory triggers for dental anxiety when in the dental setting: sight , sounds , sensations , and smells., Newer methods, such as atraumatic restorative treatment, air abrasion using alumina powder streams, ultrasonic tips coated with diamond particles, chemomechanical caries removal targeting collagen in infected dentine, which are susceptible to proteolysis by sodium hypochlorite and chloramines, and lasers for cavity preparation, may reduce painful or uncomfortable aspects of dentistry, thereby reducing anxiety and fear of pain during treatment.

    Think Positive And Question Assumptions

    Scared to go to Dentist? How to deal with Dental Anxiety

    Maybe the source of your dental anxiety is from a bad previous experience. Ask yourself if this is likely to happen again, or how this could be avoided. Remember that you are working with a different dentist and, if you mention this bad experience, it can be avoided.

    If you have other fears about a dental visit, question some of the assumptions you may be making. For example, if youre afraid your visit will be painful, ask yourself why. Dental procedures do not have to be painful and, if you are experiencing a lot of discomfort, your dentist can help.

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    What Is Dental Anxiety Disorder

    When a person suffers from dental anxiety or dental phobia, they are gripped with fear of going to the dentist. For some people, they are afraid of the procedures that go on inside the dental office. Others get their high anxiety sensitivity by hearing the sounds that they hear as they wait for their turn.

    Loss Of Control & Fear Of The Unknown

    Sitting back in a dental chair makes some people nervous and claustrophobic. Others have trouble getting comfortable because theyre not sure whats about to happen. Not knowing exactly what to expect and feeling out of control can be unnerving.

    Dentist offices today take these fears into consideration and offer solutions. From amenities like eye masks, blankets, and headphones to help you relax to detailed explanations of exactly whats going on during your treatment. We can use a combination of things to help your visit be as comfortable as possible.

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