Studies have shown that over 30% of the population suffers from dental fear with 12% having extreme fear, called odontophobia.
Dental-related anxiety is the number one reason why patients do not seek regular care. But staying away from the dentist can hurt more than just your teeth. Dental care is important for good overall health. So, avoiding the dentist could be making you unhealthy!
Dental anxiety = Dental Avoidance = Dental Problems!
Take steps toward overcoming your dental fears by:
- Recognizing signs of dental phobia.
- Realizing what causes your fears.
- Discovering tips on how you can help yourself reduce your fears.
- Learning ways that your dental office can help.
FAQs about Dental Fear
What Are Some Signs of Dental Anxiety?
- Avoiding Dental Visits — Do you often skip regular visits?
- Problems Sleeping the Night Before a Dental Appointment – Does the idea of an upcoming dental cleaning have you worried for days and especially the night before?
- Uneasy Feeling in the Waiting Room – Do you feel those butterflies in your stomach or even feel a bit nauseous?
- Uncomfortable in the Chair –– Once you sit in the chair, do you ever feel lightheaded, nervous, or out of breath?
What are the Common Reasons for Dental Anxiety?
- Fear of Pain/Needle Fear – You should know that now there are so many new ways to treat patients painlessly.
- Worries about Expenses – Just know that dental problems usually get more expensive the longer you wait for treatment.
- Bad Past Experiences — Unfortunately, bad experiences happen, which is why finding a caring and compassionate dental office is important.
- Embarrassed about Your Teeth – While it is understandable to be self-conscious, don’t worry because your dental office is a no-judgment zone!
How Can I Reduce My Dental Fears?
- Communicate Your Fears – Your dental office staff wants to help. So, don’t be afraid to let them know when you make or arrive for an appointment that you have dental fears. It will help them to help you feel more comfortable.
- Schedule Early Appointments – Scheduling the earliest appointment of the day helps in two ways, by allowing you to be seen promptly and to get it out of the way and enjoy the rest of your day.
- Consider Food Choices — Avoid caffeine right before a dental visit because it can make you feel more anxious. Choose high-protein foods vs. high sugar foods because high-protein foods can produce a calmer feeling.
- Bring Headphones – Listening to music or a podcast can help distract you from some of the sights and sounds of the dental chair.
- Practice Breathing Exercises – In the chair, practice a calming breathing technique called “4-6 Breathing.” Inhale slowly for 4 breathes and exhale slowly for 6 breaths for about one minute before you start your treatment.
If you suffer from dental fears, consider choosing a dental office that is committed to:
- Creating a Calm Experience
- Gently Managing Your Pain
- Considering Your Needs
- Taking the Time to Listen
Our office goes the extra mile to ensure that you feel comfortable so your dental fears will slowly fade. Who knows, you might even look forward to visiting the dentist! Contact us today to schedule an appointment!