Around 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety centered around dental visits. Many of these people avoid going to the dentist as a result of their dental anxiety, only visiting if there is a toothache or some other dental problem. Dental anxiety can stem from a number of things including the expectation of pain, sounds and smells of the dental office, or past negative experiences.
If you continue to avoid the dentist until you’re in pain, you’ll probably continue to have unpleasant experiences and the cycle will go on. But if you confront your fears and visit your dentist every 6 months for a dental cleaning and a checkup, you’ll be less likely to need expensive and painful dental problems.
Managing Your Dental Anxiety
If you’re feeling anxious about the dentist, there are a few things you can do to lessen this fear:
- Bring your headphones – If your stress is focused on the sounds of the dental office, feel free to bring along some headphones to listen to mellow music or an audiobook. This can take your mind off any anxiety you may feel.
- Focus on breathing – When people get anxious, the body’s natural response is either to hyperventilate or hold its breath. Both of these can cause panic to worsen. Instead, focus on taking slow, deep breaths.
- Seek out good reviews – Seek out dentists who have great reviews or look for reviews that specifically mention positive experiences from those with dental anxiety. These can help you find a caring and understanding dentist.
- Talk to your dentist – If you’re stressed or anxious about your appointment, let your dentist know. There are things he or she can do to help ease your anxiety and adapt your treatment plan accordingly.
Here at Littleton Implants and Periodontics, we know the importance of visiting your general dentist every six months for a dental cleaning and a checkup. Putting the above tips into practice can go a long way towards easing your dental anxiety.
If you’re experiencing anxiety about an upcoming procedure at our office, please contact Littleton Implants and Periodontics to let us know. We’ll do all we can to make sure your visit to our Littleton, Colorado office is a pleasant one.