Does the idea of visiting the dentist make you feel uneasy or fearful? This discomfort or fear is commonly referred to as “dental anxiety,” and it affects many more people than you may think. Research shows that more than one-third of people in the United States have some form of dental anxiety, and more than one in every 10 have an extreme fear of the dentist.1
Those are some eye-opening numbers, and the scary part is that many people with dental anxiety will deal with it by simply avoiding the dentist altogether. That’s an unhealthy approach, and it’s not something you want to do if you’d like to protect your oral health.
Fortunately, there are some effective methods to help you cope with dental anxiety, and you can start employing them right away so that you can get the care you need.
What Causes Dental Anxiety?
There are many reasons people have dental fears. Knowing what yours are can be the first step toward finding an effective way to cope with them. Below are some of the most common reasons.
Fear of Pain and Discomfort
Everyone would like to avoid pain and discomfort as much as possible, so it’s not unreasonable to see why someone who expects their dental visits to be uncomfortable might be fearful and avoid them. However, the truth is that modern technology and updated techniques have significantly reduced the discomfort associated with dental procedures.
Confinement and Loss of Personal Space
For some, the idea of being confined to a chair while their dentist works very close to them is deeply uncomfortable. This is not something that is totally avoidable, but there are ways to become more comfortable with it.
Oral health issues can damage one’s self-esteem, so revealing them to a dentist can feel incredibly embarrassing for some. However, if patients can work through that embarrassment, they can address their oral health issues and boost their self-esteem.
How to Cope with Dental Anxiety
Dental anxiety can be highly uncomfortable for some and downright crippling for others. But there are ways to work through that anxiety and start feeling more at ease in the dental chair.
Seek Out a Great Dentist
Sometimes, the biggest issue is the dentist themselves. You want the person providing your oral care to go to great lengths to make you feel comfortable, safe and understood. Look elsewhere if you don’t feel like you’re getting that from your current dentist.
Modern technology has made many once-dreaded dental procedures far faster, more straightforward, more effective, and less uncomfortable. Seek out a dentist who uses the most up-to-date technology.
Be Vocal About Your Fears
Keeping quiet about how scared and uncomfortable you are will only make you feel even more nervous and uncomfortable. Please speak with your dentist about your dental anxiety; they will work with you to help you feel safer and more comfortable.
There are multiple options for helping you feel more at ease during your procedure. Even if a procedure isn’t commonly performed with the help of sedation dentistry, your dentist might still be able to provide another option if you express your dental anxiety to them.
Empire Dental Care Can Help You Through Your Dental Anxiety
If you suffer from dental anxiety, the team at Empire Dental Care will be happy to help you work through it so you can get the treatment you need. Contact us today to learn more. 585-671-1650