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How to Overcome Dental Anxiety and Phobia 

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How to Overcome Dental Anxiety and Phobia 

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When you haven’t been to the dentist for a while, or if you’ve never been, it’s easy to overthink what the experience is going to be like. We understand that not everyone is comfortable with coming to the dentist, which is why here at Mountain Aire Dentistry we have options to help you feel more relaxed during your next appointment. If you have dental anxiety or dental phobia,  follow these tips to make your next visit with us a little easier on you. 

Dental Anxiety and Dental Phobia 

Dental anxiety is what we use to describe fear, anxiety, and stress in a dental setting. Better Health explains that being scared of the dentist can make people delay or avoid dental treatment. It can be triggered by fear of needles, drills, or the dentist office in general. When this fear gets so severe and results in irrational behavior and avoiding the dentist altogether, it can then be classified as dental phobia. 

Signs of Dental Anxiety and Phobia

People who suffer from dental anxiety usually feel nervous before their appointment and can experience traditional anxiety symptoms, like feeling restless, sweating, and experiencing an increased heart rate. If your dental anxiety is more severe and can be classified as a phobia, you might experience:

  • Trouble sleeping the night before your appointment
  • Feeling nervousness that escalates while in the waiting room before your appointment 
  • Crying or feeling physically ill at the mere thought of going to the dentist
  • Intense uneasiness at the thought of, or actually when, dental tools are placed in your mouth during your treatment, or suddenly feeling like it is difficult to breathe 

Overcoming Dental Anxiety 

If you have dental anxiety, you’re not alone. In fact, many adults can experience anything from minor dental fears all the way to dental phobia. However, you don’t have to let your fear of the dentist prevent you from getting the dental care you need. Follow these tips for overcoming dental anxiety:

1. Talk to your dentist about your fears

One of the easiest ways to help you feel better about going to the dentist is to schedule a consultation with your dentist to talk about your fears. This doesn’t have to be an appointment where you have any procedure or treatment done, but rather an appointment where you can talk with your dentist about what they can do to help you feel more at ease in their chair. You might learn that you won’t even have to have done what you’re afraid of, but you’ll never know unless you can sit down and talk to your dentist and their team face-to-face. 

2. Relax before your appointment

Once you’ve decided to go through with your treatment, the best thing you can do for yourself is to relax the best you can before your appointment. Try deep breathing a few minutes at a time, meditation, and other calming exercises to help calm you down before your appointment. If you are nervous about coming alone, we recommend that you ask a family member or friend to help reduce some of that anxiousness you might be feeling. 

3. Try sedation dentistry

If you’re not able to calm down yourself or feel better after talking with your dental team about your procedure, we recommend you try sedation dentistry. We know that not everyone will feel comfortable at the dentist’s office. Feeling nervous about treatments is common, but using sedation dentistry can help make sure you follow through with your appointment. To help you feel more calm and relaxed, we offer oral conscious sedation here at Mountain Aire Dentistry. 

Oral conscious sedation is a form of sedation that involves the patient taking a sedative pill before their appointment. By the time your treatment is scheduled to begin, you will feel at ease and relaxed. Oral sedation is a type of conscious sedation, which means you will not be unconscious, however, you may not remember all of the details of your treatment. 

Risks of Dental Anxiety and Dental Phobia

The biggest risk that comes along with having dental fears is not seeing the dentist altogether. If you never see the dentist for a deep cleaning or checkup, you are doing yourself a disservice. These standard appointments are here to help keep your teeth and gums healthy, and to help catch any dental problems early that could be developing.

Make an Appointment with Mountain Aire Dentistry

Dr. Robert Berry and our team at Mountain Aire Dentistry will work with you to help you overcome your dental anxiety. Our team works to make sure that you feel comfortable whenever you are at our office. To learn more about sedation dentistry, or to schedule a consultation to meet with Dr. Berry one-on-one, call our office today at (303)-731-7755.