A General Dentist Talks About Dental Phobia

A General Dentist Talks About Dental Phobia from Signature Smiles of Park Ridge in Park Ridge, ILFor patients who have been avoiding seeing a general dentist because of fear or apprehension, it may be helpful to know that they are not alone. A 2015 study published in Dental Research Journal found that 58.8% of dental patients surveyed experienced dental anxiety. For patients with severe dental phobia, there are several steps they can take to ensure a better, more relaxed experience at the dentist.

Anxiety-calming techniques

Dental anxiety and phobias can often feel crippling. If a patient is extremely anxious before seeing a general dentist, these techniques may be helpful for getting through an appointment.

Reach out beforehand

For patients with dental anxiety or dental phobia, it is a good idea to reach out to a general dentist before an appointment in order to explain their issues. Anxiety and even phobias around dental work is a familiar phenomenon to many dentists, and most can adjust their treatment plan with a patient's anxiety in mind. A dentist will often take extra care when explaining procedures to highly anxious patients, and they can also take breaks to check in and make sure the patient is not becoming overwhelmed.

Remember to breathe

This suggestion may sound obvious. In many cases, people who are anxious or acutely stressed will hold their breath or only take shallow breaths. When this happens, the brain receives less oxygen, causing even more anxiety. For patients who dread going to the dentist, just reminding themselves to take slow, deep breaths throughout the appointment may be helpful. Doing a few simple breathing exercises immediately before the visit will also help promote relaxation.

Focus on something else

Some dental offices have skylights or colorful ceiling tiles designed to give patients something pleasant to look at. If a patient's general dentist does not have an office like this, it may be wise to ask about listening to relaxing music through earbuds. If music is not an option, choosing something to focus on, such as an interesting-looking item on a countertop, can help take some of the focus off of the dental procedure itself.

Approaches for advanced phobias

Sometimes dental phobia is severe enough that regular anxiety management techniques will not work. For these patients, anti-anxiety medications, talk therapy or a combination of both may be needed. In some cases, either the general dentist or a primary care doctor may be able to prescribe a single dose of anti-anxiety medication. This medication is taken shortly before the dental appointment, and it helps the patient feel calmer without causing sedation.

For very severe dental phobias, talking with a qualified counselor or therapist can be helpful. Mental health professionals can help patients process their fears. Talk therapy may not immediately resolve the issue, but it can lessen the phobia over time.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Google: General Dentist in Park Ridge, IL.

Conclusion

Dental anxiety and phobias can make a routine visit to the general dentist feel like a terrifying situation. However, with anxiety-management techniques and the help of medical professionals, anxious patients can calmly and confidently navigate their next dental appointment.

Request an appointment or call Signature Smiles of Park Ridge at 224-304-1379 for an appointment in our Park Ridge office.

Recent Posts

Are There Different Types Of Toothaches?

Dentists recognize many types of toothaches. Each tooth pain carries a different intensity and meaning, and each type is caused by a different dental issue. You may not know what kind of ache you have right now. Understanding it, and getting in touch with a licensed dentist to alleviate your pain, are important steps in…

How To Care For Dentures

For centuries, people have used dentures to replace missing teeth. The fact that they are still in use today speaks to how practical and effective they can be. Dentures are a popular option for those who are missing multiple teeth and do not have the desire or the ability to undergo extensive dental work. Developments…

What Are Common Endodontic Treatments?

Your dentist may recommend endodontic treatments if you have a damaged or diseased tooth. Inside each tooth is a soft, threadlike substance called the pulp. It is the living part of your tooth. The pulp contains the connective tissues, blood vessels, and nerves that bring required nutrients to the tooth and keep it healthy.When the…

Recent Posts

Are There Different Types Of Toothaches?

Are There Different Types Of Toothaches?

Dentists recognize many types of toothaches. Each tooth pain carries a different intensity and meaning, and each type is caused by a different dental issue. You may not know what kind of ache you have right now. Understanding it, and getting in touch with a licensed dentist to alleviate your pain, are important steps in…

How To Care For Dentures

How To Care For Dentures

For centuries, people have used dentures to replace missing teeth. The fact that they are still in use today speaks to how practical and effective they can be. Dentures are a popular option for those who are missing multiple teeth and do not have the desire or the ability to undergo extensive dental work. Developments…