Does the thought of going to the dentist make your heart race, make your palms sweat, or send you into a full-blown panic? If so, you’re certainly not alone. In fact, according to the Cleveland Clinic, some 36% of people in the U.S. have a fear of dental treatment.
Fortunately, thanks to advancements in techniques and technology, today’s dentistry is virtually painless. But what if you didn’t grow up with modern dentistry and remember it differently? Here are a few tips to help you manage your dental anxiety.
Talk it Through
If you’re among the 150 million Americans who either suffer through treatment or avoid dental care altogether, the first step is admitting to yourself, and to us, that you’re struggling. Talking about your apprehension can go a long way toward helping you feel better. And discussing it with us will allow us to come up with a strategy that will work best for you. It all starts with a conversation.
One of the primary reasons people fear dental appointments is because they worry the experience will be painful. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to manage pain, both during as well as after treatment. For example, topical and local anesthesia, ice, oral rinses, over-the-counter pain medication, and in some cases, prescription pain medication. We can discuss with you what your options are and come up with a pain control plan that you can feel confident about.
Just as there are several ways to manage pain, there are also a number of options for overcoming feelings of stress and anxiety. Relaxation exercises, for instance, like focused breathing and meditation, can help put you in a calmer state. Distraction can also help keep your mind off what’s bothering you by drawing your attention elsewhere. For example, listening to soothing music or your favorite podcast. Our dentists or a healthcare professional can help you choose a strategy that works for you.
If natural methods, such as relaxation or distraction, aren’t enough to do the trick, medication may be the next best choice. Our dentists may prescribe an anti-anxiety medication to take just prior to your visit to help calm your nerves. There are also varying degrees of sedation that you might consider. Nitrous oxide, for instance (also known as laughing gas), can be used for conscious sedation. In some cases, general anesthesia may be an option as well.
The Right Partner
The last piece of the puzzle is choosing the right dental provider. Our dentists are empathetic, patient, and willing to work with you which is key. They will listen to your needs and do whatever it takes to help you maintain a sense of calmness and control. At Beach Dental Care, we understand dental anxiety and are happy to work with each patient on an individual basis to come up with a strategy that addresses their unique needs and concerns.
Contact us today to learn more about our fear-free dentistry and how we can help you overcome your dental phobia once and for all.