Dental anxiety is a common struggle that affects many individuals, making routine dental visits a source of immense stress. It is estimated that as many as 35 million people do not visit the dental office at all because they are too afraid. However, it is essential to take control of our dental health and overcome this anxiety for the sake of our overall well-being. Having regular routine check ups is the easiest way to maintain excellent oral hygiene and reduce the need for more complex treatments. Here at Ashland City Dental we are a judgment-free zone and will do everything we can to try and make those with dental anxiety feel more at ease.
There are several strategies to conquer dental anxiety and transform these visits into a positive experience.
Discuss your anxieties with us — Open communication with your dentist is crucial – though it can be hard to talk about fears with a stranger, discussing your fears and concerns helps us tailor our approach to your specific needs, creating a more comfortable atmosphere.
Bring a companion — Seeking support from a trusted friend or family member to accompany you to appointments can also provide a sense of reassurance. Each of our rooms has an extra chair so your companion can be close by to help alleviate some anxiety they are also more than welcome to stay in our lobby if you prefer.
Bring headphones for music – While we do play music or shows on a tv in each room, you are more than welcome to bring headphones to listen to something more personal to help keep you calm and keep your mind off things as well as drown out any noises that make you nervous.
Agree on a signal – Many people are afraid that the dentist will not know they are in significant pain during the appointment, and will carry on the procedure regardless. The best way to solve this problem is to agree on a “stop” hand signal with the dentist, hygienist or dental assistant. Both parties can easily understand signals like raising the hand or tapping on the chair.
Spray the throat – If you have a fear of gagging, you may want to try a numbing throat spray (for example, Vicks® Chloraseptic® Throat Spray) which can actually help control the gag reflex. Two or three sprays will usually keep the reflex under control for about an hour.
Ask for a mirror – Not being able to see what is happening can increase anxiety and make the imagination run wild. Watching the procedure can help keep reality at the forefront of the mind. Each of our rooms has a hand mirror available upon request if you feel it may help.
Sedation – If there is no other way to cope, sedation offers an excellent option for many people. There are several types of sedation, but the general premise behind them is the same: the patient regains their faculties after treatment is complete. Discuss your options with Dr. Fleenor and decide on one that is effective and produces minimal anxiety.
By implementing these strategies, individuals may be able to overcome dental anxiety, ensuring regular visits to the dentist and maintaining optimal oral health.
If you have questions or concerns about how we can help you overcome anxiety and fear, please contact us! We are more than happy to discuss things to help make you feel more comfortable.