Dealing With Dental Fear and Anxiety

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Do you break out in a cold sweat at the thought of visiting the dentist, or perhaps you avoid dental care altogether until absolutely necessary? If so you are not alone as it is estimated around 50% of Americans don’t visit their dentist regularly, and that up to 15% of this group avoid the dentist due to fear and anxiety. This percentage may not sound very high, but actually means between 30 and 40 million people are not receiving regular dental care, but it doesn’t have to be like that.

Midtown Dentistry places patient comfort and care right at the top of the list, and we do everything possible to make sure our clinic is a warm and welcoming environment, helping to reduce dental fear and anxiety. Our dental office is equipped with the latest technology designed to make dental therapies faster and more effective, and of course more comfortable for patients. Some of the most common dental fears include:

  • Fear of feeling pain during treatment
  • Fear of injections, or that the injections won’t take away the pain properly
  • Fear of the dentist and the general environment of a dental office, including the drill
  • Fear of not being fully in control during treatments
  • Having a strong gag reflex
  • Having had a bad experience with a dentist in the past

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Overcoming dental fear and anxiety

It is important to take steps to deal with dental fears as having regular routine check-ups and cleanings will help keep your mouth healthy, and will greatly lessen your chances of requiring more extensive treatments in the future. There are lots of things we can do to help you overcome these fears, and you’ll find we are sympathetic to your situation. Methods of reducing dental fears can include the following:

  • Talking to us about your fears will enable us to take action to reduce anxiety, and to take extra care during treatments.
  • Some people find it helpful to listen to music through headphones during treatment, as it can be relaxing and masks any noises such as those made by the dental drill that may cause anxiety.
  • We can help put you back in control during your dental visit by pre-arranging a signal to stop treatment at any stage, and we’ll check frequently to make sure you are still comfortable.
  • Some people also find it helps to bring a mirror so they can watch what is happening, as imagination can be a lot worse than the reality.
  • If you have a strong gag reflex then we can offer methods of keeping this under control, for example through the use of a throat spray.
  • We offer sedation dentistry, ranging from mild sedation to general anesthesia to keep patients comfortable, ensuring essential dental care can be given without causing any undue distress.

The advantage of overcoming your dental fears and anxieties is that you will be able to receive regular dental care, improving your oral and general health. Feeling good about your smile can help boost self-esteem and confidence. Our dental office is always willing to answer any questions or concerns you may have about overcoming dental fears.

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