How To Overcome Dental Anxiety

Overcome Dental Anxiety

If you suffer from dental anxiety you are not alone. In fact, 50-80 percent of Americans suffer from some sort of dental fear. Read on to discover ways you can overcome dental anxiety and ways Sisko Dentistry makes our patients comfortable during procedures. 

What Is Dental Anxiety?

Dental anxiety is the fear, anxiety, or stress associated with dental procedures. Fear of going to the dentist can lead to delaying or avoiding dental treatment. Things like needles, drills, or the dental environment often trigger dental anxiety. Extreme dental anxiety can be classified as dental phobia and causes irrational fear and avoidance of going to the dentist.

Share Your Concerns With Your Dentist

Communicating your concerns with your dentist is crucial to overcome dental anxiety. We can take steps to simplify the process and explain every step of the procedure from start to finish so you know what to expect. We can also recommend techniques to help you relax and feel more comfortable such as the following: 

  • Breathing exercises: Deep breathing exercises can relax your mind and help you feel calmer. Close your eyes and inhale slowly through your nose. Hold for a few seconds, then exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat several times until you are relaxed.

  • Guided imagery: Another technique that helps reduce anxiety is to sit in the dentist’s chair and imagine happy thoughts. Go to your “happy place” and think about fun or positive memories from the past which can calm your mind and relax you.

  • A diversion: A distraction at the dentist’s office can also reduce anxiety. Talk to your dentist beforehand. See if you can watch TV or a movie, or put on some headphones and listen to music during your procedure. 

  • A signal:  Many people worry during the appointment that the dentist will not know their pain level and will proceed with the procedure anyway. The best way to deal with this is to arrange a “stop” gesture with your dentist. Signals such as raising a hand or raising a fist are easily understood by both partners.

Conscious Intravenous (IV) Sedation Is An Alternative

Sedation is a good option for many people when all else fails. At Sisko Dentistry we can refer patients to sedation specialists. With this type of sedation, the medicine is given through a drip into a vein in the arm or hand. Under IV sedation you are relaxed and able to fall into a light sleep, but able to respond to verbal cues. Possible side effects include drowsiness and nausea after the treatment.

After the IV sedation, you should not drive yourself home. Some pre-existing medical conditions or medications may affect the type of sedation you can receive or prevent you from receiving IV sedation. There is also a wide range of other safe anesthetics available to eliminate pain and reduce anxiety during routine appointments. Consult with Dr. Sisko for more information. 

Modern Procedures Make Dentistry Less Scary

Advances in technology mean that dental microsurgery is now an option. Recent technological advances mean that, in many cases, dentists can replace loud drills with modern handpieces that help reduce noise levels. Modern hand-held devices can be used to prepare teeth for fillings, whiten teeth, and remove stains. Discuss all your options with your dentist and choose the one that works and does not cause anxiety.

If you are looking for a dental clinic that cares about dental-phobic patients consider Sisko Dentistry. We can help you with over 30 years of experience in cosmetic treatments, restorative or general dentistry, and emergency dental care. We help Tallmadge and surrounding communities achieve their dream smile with modern procedures and technology. For more information on how we can help you overcome your dental fears call 330-633-9510.


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