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How To Get Over Dental Anxiety

When Conservative Treatment Isnt Enough

Dr. Brian Kantor NY Cosmetic Dentist on how to eliminate fear of the dentist

Conservative treatment for your anxiety may not be enough to overcome your debilitating fear of seeing the dentist. A skilled sedation dentist can offer more advanced options to help you overcome your anxiety symptoms and get you the help you need.

Anxiety caused by fear of seeing the dentist is nothing to feel embarrassed of. In fact, odontophobia is recognized by the World Health Organization as an actual disease, and they estimate that 15-20% of the population suffers from it. Avoiding dental work and routine cleanings can only make things worse. Suffering from dental problems while avoiding the dentist can mean living in unnecessary pain that can harm your quality of life. With so many technological advancements in the dental industry, procedures have become more accessible, quicker, and less painful. When you work with a sedation dentist, such as Dr. Reem Kidess at PV Smiles, you work with a team of professionals who can help you develop a treatment plan and work with you to determine your level of sedation needs. Dr. Kidess is compassionate and works with a team of equally compassionate professionals.

How To Get Over Dental Anxiety Here Are Our 7 Top Tips

stressed or anxious about going to the dentistHow to Get Over Dental Anxiety?7 Top Tips to Help You Stay Calm When You Visit the Dentist

  • If youre suffering from dental anxiety or feel tense then dont keep it to yourself. Tell your dentist and his team. By doing so, your dentist can adapt your treatment.
  • Listen to some music If the noise of the dental drill triggers anxiety then try wearing earphones and listening to your favourite music to help keep calm.
  • Take some deep breaths Its not uncommon for people to hold their breath when theyre feeling nervous. What this does is to decrease the oxygen levels and makes a person feel more panicky. Try taking a few deep breaths on route to the dentist and once there, focus your efforts on slow regular breathing to bring down your stress levels.
  • Use hand signals Communication is key for anyone wondering how to get over dental anxiety. One way to feel less anxious when youre undergoing dental procedures is to agree to use a hand signal to communicate to the dentist. This way, when youre feeling uncomfortable and you want to pause treatment momentarily, you can simply raise a hand.
  • Watch what you eat and drink Before an appointment its best to avoid caffeine. Caffeine in some cases can cause anxiety. You should also consume high-protein foods rather than sugary snacks since these help to produce a calming effect.
  • Types of dental sedation available

    • Oral Conscious Sedation

    Overcome Fear Of The Dental Needle

    The number one part of a dental appointment that results in dental phobia is fear of the dental needle.

    Firstly, its important to note that this isnt just a dental phobia. Needle phobia is part of a group of specific phobias of blood-injection-injury. People who have needle phobia experience a loss of blood pressure and fainting response.

    You should inquire about the following options for dental injections.

    Topical anesthesia: Also known as numbing gel, it is a cream or gel used to numb your gums before your dental injection so that you cant feel the needle glide in.

    The term topical anesthetic means an anesthetic agent that is simply applied externally to the outside . If you fear the dental needle ask your dentist to leave the topical anesthetic on for longer.

    Painless injections: While you may be afraid of the needle, its important to remember that a dental needle is very small in diameter.

    A recent innovation in dental surgeries is painless injections. Generally, these refer to using a local anesthetic device called the wand.

    The dental wand uses a small handpiece that looks like a pen. It is designed to give a supply of anesthetic in a slow, comfortable manner. The delivery works at a low pressure and a slow rate that gives an improved anesthesia.

    Does it work? Most people report a lower amount of pain associated with dental injections using the wand. You can inquire whether a dentist uses the wand before booking your appointment.

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    How To Overcome Dental Fear:

    Now that we know a little more about what dental fear is and what its caused by, lets take a look at how we can overcome dental fear.

    • Talk with Dr. Pasha: an important way to overcome dental fear is to have an honest conversation with Dr. Pasha about your dental anxieties. Because everyone has different anxieties and different reactions to those anxieties, taking the time to explain this to Dr. Pasha will help him provide you with more personalized care in order to reduce your anxiety.

    For an anxiety-free approach to dentistry, schedule a consultation with Dr. Pasha of Pasha Dental today! Pasha Dental is proud to provide dental services for adults and children residing in the Brooklyn, NY area as well as to residents of Staten Island, Queens, and Manhattan.

    Useful Links

    How To Manage Dental Anxiety Or Phobia

    How To Get Over Dental Phobia Marshall D.D.S

    There are many ways to help people manage dental anxiety or phobia. It is important to let the dentist know if you experience any level of dental anxiety. Open discussion around the individual triggers of anxiety can help the dentist work with you to tailor a management plan for you.

    Some psychological coping techniques include:

    Referral to a psychologist can be helpful too. Short, targeted therapies including cognitive behavioural therapy can be very successful.

    Severe dental anxiety or phobia may require medical management with relative analgesia , anxiety relieving medication, conscious sedation or general anaesthesia.

    Also Check: Is There A Daily Medication For Anxiety

    Tips To Help With Your Dental Anxiety

  • If youre nervous, tell your dentist and voice your fears! If you are afraid of pain or needles, your dentist will be able to figure out the best solution and help you in any way possible. Some dentists have access to nitrous oxide that can help patients relax. Talk to your dentist: this is a great first step to take when youre suffering from dental anxiety.
  • Think of a communication system with your dentist. Not being able to talk and being confined to a chair is a trigger from some anxieties. If this sounds familiar, tell your dentist. You and your dentist can agree that when you raise your hand its time for a break.
  • Address your negative experiences with your dentist. Some patients dental anxieties stem from a negative dental experience. If you suffer from this, try and pinpoint what experience upset you. Once you know, you can talk with your dentist and they can understand what and why you have dental anxiety. This will help them work around any of your triggers.
  • Try and distract yourself. By taking your mind off of the exam, it might help you cope. Try wearing headphones: this will help drown out the sound of the drill and you can listen to your favorite music or podcast. You can try a stress ball or a fidget spinner to occupy your hands.
  • Many People Are Scared Of The Dentist

    There are many people that are scared of the dentist but need treatment.

    A national telephone survey of 1101 Canadians found that 9.8% were somewhat afraid of dental treatment, with another 5.5% having a high level of fear

    One third of the US population avoids going to the dentist because theyre scared.

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    How To Get Over Your Dental Fear

    Home » Blog » How To Get Over Your Dental Fear

    Dental anxiety results in patients avoiding the dentist until theyre in pain or notice a problem. Dental anxiety is a common fear: according to a Harvard study, 24% of people around the world suffer from dental anxiety.

    To help any of those struggling with dental anxiety we put together a list of tips to help get over dental fear.

    Why Do Some People Have Dental Anxiety

    Dental Health : How to Get Over Dental Anxiety

    Having dental anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of and it is often the result of some kind of trauma that may or may not have involved a dental situation. For some patients, it began when they were children: a botched procedure, not using anaesthetic or even something less obvious that relates to not being in control of or trusting in the environment.

    Recommended Reading: How To Stop Shortness Of Breath Anxiety

    Wear Earbuds During Your Dental Treatment

    Listening to music is a great way to tune out whats going on around you. Some dental offices provide headphones! If you need a simple distraction, try loading up your favorite playlist and popping in your headphones once your dental appointment gets started. A dark pair of sunglasses can also lower all of the stimuli youre exposed to.

    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.

    Read Also: How To Control Nervous Anxiety

    How Is Dentophobia Diagnosed

    The American Psychiatric Association recognizes dentophobia as a specific phobic disorder in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders . Your healthcare provider may diagnose dentophobia if you experience intense anxiety or fear when thinking about or visiting the dentist.

    Your dentist or healthcare provider may suggest that you see a mental health professional like a psychologist. This healthcare provider can formally evaluate your symptoms, including how the phobia impacts your daily life.

    You may have this specific phobic disorder if your fear of dentists:

    • Occurs when you think about visiting or go to visit the dentist.
    • Prevents you from seeing a dentist, even when youre in pain or need urgent treatment.
    • Triggers symptoms of anxiety or fear that dont match the actual danger.
    • Lasts at least six months.

    How can I find out if my child has dentophobia?

    A constant fear of the dentist can be extremely upsetting for your child. If your child is very young, it may be difficult for them to verbalize whats wrong.

    If severe fear of the dentist greatly impacts your childs life, your childs healthcare provider or dentist may recommend they visit a mental health professional. This healthcare provider can look at your childs symptoms, offer a diagnosis and help you form a treatment plan.

    Dentists Dont Want To Pull Your Teeth Out

    How to Get Over Your Fear of the Dentist

    Dentists dont actually want to take your teeth out or do root canals or do other horrible things to your teeth.

    Ideally, they would like to help get rid of any dental disease and problems that you have in your mouth.

    This prevents your teeth from hurting and means youre able to chew your food effectively, and ensures that you can go out and enjoy your life without worrying about your teeth.

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    Other Dental Anxiety Treatment Options: Sedation Dentistry

    When someone needs urgent dental care to restore dental health, another treatment approach may be needed, such as sedation dentistry.

    Dental sedation can be very useful for anyone feeling extremely fearful about seeing a dentist, whether they need a simple dental cleaning or a lengthier and more complicated treatment. For example, this option can be extremely helpful if you need wisdom teeth removed or would love to have dental implant surgery to restore missing teeth. In addition, some children and adults have more complex health needs and may find a dental practice overwhelming or cannot sit still to receive dental care.

    Tandara Dental Centre can provide light sedation in the form of happy gas, a solution many people are already familiar with where nitrous oxide is inhaled during treatment. The gas induces feelings of relaxation and calm, but you will still be awake and able to communicate throughout the appointment. Alternatively, intravenous sedation provides a much deeper level of relaxation, so much so that you may fall asleep or will feel very drowsy. We can still awaken you if necessary. Sedation dentistry can be a useful option when a longer appointment is needed or allows our dentist to complete more treatment in a single visit.

    Listen To Calming Music

    Familiar and calming music helps focus your mind and prevent intrusive thoughts. Bring your earphones to the dental practice and relax while listening to music, a podcast, or other familiar media content. Soothing audio aids can lower your blood pressure, making the appointment more tolerable.

    Ask your dentist about playing music throughout the visit, and we will try to accommodate you where possible. Dont worry we wont judge your taste in music!

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

    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.

    What Causes Dental Fear

    Here’s How You Can Overcome Dental Anxiety

    Dental fear can be caused by a number of different factors. Dentophobia and dental anxiety are often related to fears of different sub-elements. Some people with dental fear will only fear one element, while others with extreme cases may fear every element equally. These sub-elements include:

    • Fear of the dentist: usually spurred on by the belief that dentists are cold, unfeeling, or even sadistic. This fear can be reaffirmed if one has had a bad experience with a particular dentists.
    • Fear of pain: many people fear that going to the dentist will result in extreme amounts of pain.
    • Fear of numbness or gagging: some people fear that going numb will make it hard or impossible to breathe or swallow. This is especially the case for those who have choked before or had trouble breathing.
    • Fear of sounds and smells: the sensory input associated with a dentists office can cause feelings of anxiety in some. Most people do not like the sound of the dental drill.
    • Fear of needles: many people do not like needles and fear injections of any kind
    • Fear of helplessness: some people do not like feeling out of control, and because they cannot see what the dentist is doing, they feel helpless.
    • Fear losing personal space: some people are uncomfortable with the physical closeness that dental exams can cause. Others can be self-conscious about their mouth or breathe and feel anxiety for these reasons.

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    What To Do When You Are Scared Of The Dentist: How To Cope With Dental Anxiety

    Have you ever wondered how to get over dental anxiety? Knowing what to do when you are scared of the dentist can be a significant relief for your mental and dental health!

    Coping with dental anxiety starts by knowing that you arent alone. Estimates show thatanywhere from 9% to 20% of adults in the United States suffer from dental phobia or anxiety.

    Fortunately, there are ways to ease your anxieties about the dentist. By getting over dental anxiety, you can comfortably visit the dentist and ensure your dental health stays on track.

    If you want to learn how to get rid of dental anxiety, this article is for you. Well review:

    • Tips for dentist anxiety
    • What to do when you are scared of the dentist
    • How to get over a fear of the dentist with the right provider

    Its time to get that long-overdue dentist phobia help!

    Lets start by examining why people fear the dentist and offer some practical tips to help you learn how to get over your fear of dentists!

    Learn Ways To Calm Nerves Before A Dentist Visit

    Many patients have a fear of the dentist and are looking for ways to calm down before coming in for an appointment. I know my colleagues and teams take pride in making our patients feel comfortable before, during, and after a routine cleaning or more involved procedure.

    When thinking about ways to help my patients prepare for the dentist if they have dental anxiety, we came up with 7 quick tips to calm nerves before a dentist visit.

  • Prepare to share your fears with your dentist. Being transparent about your fears allows your dentist to walk you through your procedure or routine cleaning in a way that is helpful to you and can calm your nerves.
  • Plan ahead. Schedule an appointment on a day where you wont be really busy or in a rush to get somewhere directly after. This allows the body an opportunity to relax.
  • Watch your food and water intake. Before your appointment, avoid foods with high sugars or caffeine, as they may make you more jittery and contribute to your nerves. Instead, try something that has calming properties, like caffeine-free tea.
  • Practice a deep breathing technique. Remembering to breathe is a key component to staying calm and relaxed during a procedure or routine cleaning.
  • Visit your dentist regularly, avoid skipping or prolonging appointments. The fear of what could be wrong with your teeth may prevent you from feeling at ease coming to the dentist. When you see your dentist every six months, there are fewer unknowns and the process feels routine.
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