Dental Anxiety and Fear

The overwhelming fear of dental appointments can be a common cause of anxiety.  Many people visualize a drill-wielding man in a white coat just waiting to cause pain and remove teeth.  The reality, however, is very different.  The comfort, relaxation and happiness of the patient are embedded deep at the heart of any good dental practice.  We will do whatever we can to reduce anxiety, allay fears and provide painless, quick treatments.

How can one overcome dental anxiety?

Dental anxiety and fear can become completely overwhelming.  It is estimated that as many as 35 million people do not visit the dental office at all because they are too afraid.  However, having regular routine check ups is the easiest way to maintain excellent oral hygiene and reduce the need for more complex treatments that cause more anxiety.

Here are some ways we can help.

Talk to us – Though we try our best to make sure you are comfortable, we may not be aware of the depth of your anxiety. Please do let us know if you are experiencing any fear - we completely understand and can slow down, provide you with headphones with music, or simply talk you through what we are doing in a way that is calming. 

Music – Music acts as a relaxant and also drowns out any fear-producing noises. We have headphones and can provide you with calming music or feel free to use your own mobile device. 

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 Dr. Yi or our hygienists - we are very conscious of going at a pace you are comfortable with. 

Spray your throat – Let us know if you have trouble controlling your gag reflex and we can provide you with a throat spray (for example, Vicks® Chloraseptic® Throat Spray) which usually keeps 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.

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.

Ask about alternatives – Advances in technology mean that dental microsurgery is now an option. Lasers can be used to prepare teeth for fillings, whiten teeth and remove staining.  Discuss all the options with the dentist and decide on one that is effective and produces minimal anxiety.

If you have questions or concerns about your anxiety, please call us and we'd be more than happy to help alleviate it.

We want to hear from you!

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We encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments you may have. Please call our office or use the quick contact form below.