Fear Keeping You from Visiting the Dentist?

You are not alone if fear has delayed or deterred you from following through on a dentist visit. Dental anxiety is not uncommon and can be a very uncomfortable experience.

The team at Shining Smiles is aware that the anticipation of a visit can affect a patient’s in-person experience at their appointment.

Before cancelling your next trip to the dentist, read through our blog on what those normal dental fears are and how you can overcome them and continue to take care of your dental health.

 

What are some common dental fears?

Like other fears in our lives, a lot of times we could have had a past experience – even from childhood – that directly impacts our present-day anxieties. If your experience was negative, there’s an even higher chance that your brain will remind you of this and start making plans to protect you from further fear and anxiety.

But what are some common dental fears? These fears can be brought on by the following:

  • Loud sounds from the dental tools used
  • Dental pain (as well as the fear that the numbing medicine won’t work)
  • Needles
  • The feeling of being out of control
  • Gagging, swallowing, or choking during a dental procedure

These fears can cause a patient to feel light headed or dizzy. Their heartbeat may increase due to anxiety and may always include labored breathing and sweating.

 

How can I overcome these fears?

First and foremost, remember that any reaction to fear or anxiety is real to you. You may feel weird or like you simply need to “get it together.” Putting that level of pressure on yourself will likely increase your anxiety and not help you lower the level of stress you may be feeling. 

Be easy with yourself. 

One of the best ways to calm fears is in creating a plan. Contact your Shining Smiles dentist to discuss ways you can help yourself prepare for your appointment.

Before making a plan it is important to gather all the necessary information you need that may be included during your appointment. There have been many advances in the dental field when it comes to anesthesia and even down to the dental equipment.

Here are a few tips when creating your dental plan:

  • Take a visit to check out the dentist office. Schedule a time to meet the staff, tour the office, and review the procedure you will be having so you’ll know what to expect. Shining Smiles offers a virtual dental office tour!
  • Bring headphones. Many dentists allow patients to bring headphones with them to use during the appointment. Make a playlist that includes music that calms you or brings good memories to mind.
  • Ask for a blanket. Regulating your body temperature during a procedure will keep you more even keeled than you may realize. Dentist offices have blankets you can have draped over you while they work on any dental issues that may need attention.
  • Ask for a break. Don’t be afraid to ask your dental hygienist or dentist for a moment to catch your breath. Breaks don’t mean you are weak. They show your wisdom in communicating what you need.
  • Schedule a morning appointment. By booking your appointment first thing in the morning, you won’t be anticipating your visit throughout the day.
  • Ask about any dental sedation methods your dentist office uses. Whether that be through nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or an IV, your dentist will be able to come to a solution with you.

 

Shining Smiles is here for you.

At Shining Smiles Family Dentistry in Marietta, GA, we don’t want fear keeping you from tending to your dental health when we know it’s a priority for you. 

Don’t hesitate to call us, discuss your options, and make a plan so that these fears don’t keep you from achieving maximum results. Remember that these anxieties are normal, but that they are also able to be overcome.

Resources: 

https://www.healthgrades.com/right-care/oral-health/common-dental-fears-and-how-to-overcome-them?cid=63emHLN101920DEN&elqTrackId=58C5FF67103CF2FD4173FEF2AC9824D9&elq=230042c413db49ef95780e5a16969711&elqaid=4280&elqat=1&elqCampaignId=2180