Are You Afraid of the Dentist? - New London Complete Health Dentistry

Are You Afraid of the Dentist?

Are You Afraid of the Dentist?
September 12, 2019

If you find yourself putting off going to the dentist because of anxiety, you are not alone. According to the Cleveland Clinic, “between 9% and 15% of Americans say they avoid going to the dentist because of anxiety or fear.” The Clinic goes on to share the most familiar symptoms of dental anxiety: 

  • Trouble sleeping the night before the dental exam
  • Feelings of nervousness that worsen in the dentist’s waiting room
  • Getting to the dentist’s office but being unable to enter
  • Crying or feeling physically ill at the very thought of visiting the dentist
  • Intense uneasiness at the thought of, and actually when, a dentist or hygienist places objects in your mouth, suddenly feeling like it is difficult to breathe

If any or all of these symptoms describe your experience, don’t despair. You can regain confidence––and improved oral health––by deciding to make some changes. 

Talk with Your Dentist

Communicating openly with your dentist before receiving an exam or procedure is an effective way of easing some anxiety. People who fear flying often feel more comfortable shaking the pilot’s hand as they board. Likewise, taking the time to chat with your dentist about your concerns can remove some of the mystery that fuels the anxiety. 

After making a friendly connection, ask your dentist to explain what’s happening at every stage of the procedure so you know what to expect. You may also want to agree ahead of time on a hand signal indicating your need for a break if you feel your fear worsening. A compassionate dentist will take the time to listen to your concerns and do whatever they can to make you feel more comfortable. 

Turn Your Visits into a Habit

Exposure and desensitization are among the most common practices for treating anxiety or phobias. In other words, the more often you visit the dentist, the less you will fear it. People who suffer from dental anxiety often put off going to the dentist for years, which only exacerbates the fear of the unknown (and potential dental issues). When you do get to the dentist, make your follow-up appointment right away, knowing that with each visit, your experience will get a little easier. 

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Choose a Dentist Who Offers Solutions 

Patients who suffer from dental anxiety can find some relief in the use of sedation dentistry; options include nitrous oxide (laughing gas), oral sedation, or IV sedation. These medications not only keep you calm and relaxed during the procedure, but ease your anxiety in the hours and days before your appointment by removing the anticipation of discomfort. 

At New London Complete Health Dentistry, our highly trained staff will ensure that your treatment under sedation is comfortable and safe. No matter how long it’s been since you’ve visited the dentist, we will treat you with compassion, not judgment. Get on the road to a healthier smile today; give us a call at 419.929.1544 or request an appointment online.

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Phone: (419) 929-1544
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New London, Ohio 44851
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