How to Alleviate Anxiety at the Dental Office
Many people do not look forward to visiting the dentist, just as they may be uncomfortable seeing their physician. However, it is essential to see the dentist regularly to ensure your smile is healthy. Not all procedures are painful, but we may have an anxiety about receiving them. Even being examined can be a stressful experience for some. Dental fear, anxiety, or phobia is common and is one of the main reasons patients put off visiting their dentist.
At the office of Dr. LoPinto, we take patient anxiety into consideration and work to soothe their fear with a comfortable atmosphere and procedures done at their pace. This article explains why dental anxiety may have developed, how to spot it, and ways to combat it.
Common Causes of Dental Anxiety
A common reason for being afraid to go to the dentist is fear of pain. This could be caused by a negative experience in the past, when dental technology was less advanced. This past experience of pain or discomfort leads to anxiety about seeing the dentist and fear that even minor procedures may cause the same pain. Although modern dentistry has evolved to maximize patient comfort and shorten recovery time, it can be difficult to convince someone until they experience it for themselves.
Another major cause would be feeling out of control. As you are laying in the dental chair, you must be still as dentists and assistants work in your mouth. Since you are unable to see what is going on or prepare for what may be a painful experience, patients can feel helpless and may lead to anxiety.
Dealing with Dental Anxiety
One way to combat this fear is to seek a dentist who is experienced in that treatment. Experts in the field may make the procedure process smoother. Sedation and local anesthetics are an option for those who cannot receive dental care or certain treatments without significant stress. Local anesthetics numb the procedure site, while conscious sedation relaxes your body without putting you to sleep. Many patients do not remember the treatment afterward, alleviating the anxiety of more involved procedures.
Anxiety about a loss of control can also be countered with a patient dentist. Ask the dentist if you can hold up a mirror once in a while to watch the procedure. If seeing treatment (and blood) worries you, ask them to explain what they’re doing as they treat you. If sitting still for a long time is an issue for you, ask the dentists and staff for breaks in between larger procedures, such as gum disease treatment or root canal therapy.
Dr. Joseph LoPinto and his staff provide quality dental services with your comfort in mind. Contact us today to learn more about how we can accommodate you for your next dental visit.