Dental phobia, dental fear or dental anxiety – whatever you call it, it is a very real condition that plagues a significant portion of the American population on some level. Unfortunately, dental phobia often keeps patients from getting the dental care they need and deserve. Neglecting your dental appointments can pose threats to your oral health, your smile appearance and your whole-body health.
A Dentist Who Caters to Anxious Patients
The good news is that many dentists offer services to lessen or even eliminate dental anxiety – ranging from modern amenities in the waiting room (such as Netflix, WiFi or complimentary beverages) to spa-like services while you are in the dental chair (warm blankets, wireless headphones and more). However, the most surefire way to calm an anxious patient is with sedation dentistry.
Sedation Dentistry Can Help
Sedation dentistry can take the form of a sedative pill or nitrous oxide (laughing gas). Contrary to what you may think, sedation dentistry doesn’t mean you’ll be put to sleep. Sedation dentistry allows patients of all ages to receive dental treatments in a relaxed state while still being able to communicate with their dentist if they wish. With nitrous oxide, you can even safely drive yourself home after your appointment.
Understanding Why You Fear the Dentist
It is always important to disclose your concerns and fears to your dentist when you arrive or when you schedule your appointment. However, if you want to ensure your specific anxieties are taken care of, it is best to determine what it is that is actually causing your apprehension. The following are common culprits for anxious dental patients:
- Sights, sounds and smells of the dental office
- Feeling of not being in control while in the dental chair
- Fear of gagging (sensitive gag reflex)
- Fear of needles or pain
- Bad dental experience in the past
- Family member or parent with dental anxiety (International Journal of Pediatric Dentistry) found that the greater the dental fear or anxiety of one family member, the higher the level in the rest of the family
Whether it is a racing heart during a lengthy procedure or a paralyzing fear when you step into a dental office, we want to know about your dental anxiety at Rivers + Tanners Family Dentistry. We are committed to providing comfortable dental care for all patients, including those with dental phobia as well as patients with special needs. Call our Mount Pleasant office today to learn how we can change the way you view dental care!