You Can Beat The Pulp Out Of Dental Anxiety

Do you avoid going to the dentist due to fears? If so, take ease because studies indicate that up to 75% of patients have concerns about going to their dentists, and 10% -15% have extreme fears. Having extreme fears may result in some people avoiding dental screenings and cleanings, which can result in missed diagnoses for serious conditions such as periodontal disease. 

There are some steps that you can take to minimize the amount of anxiety you feel about dental visits. If your anxiety is related to traumatic experiences from the past, keep in mind it may take longer to reduce it.

Identify the cause of your anxiety.

For example, your fears may be related to an upcoming procedure that you were told by someone else is painful. Your threshold for pain is likely different from your peers. This means that you may not find the procedure as horrid. It is also possible that they had their procedure performed at a time when dentists did not have a variety of pain and anesthesia treatment options. 

Discuss your fears prior to having procedures performed.

If you can identify the cause of your anxiety, inform your dentist of your anxiety and why you are experiencing fear. It is not uncommon for patients to be clueless about why dental visits make them anxious.

Inquire about the use of anesthesia or sedatives.

Your dentist may be able to prescribe a sedative for you to take shortly before procedures. Sedatives aid in relaxation. General anesthesia could be recommended for extreme cases of anxiety. This type of anesthesia will put you into a sleep-like state.

Consider whether flexible scheduling is available.

Your dentist may be able to accommodate you by scheduling you during a time frame when the office is less busy. For example, there may be an option to schedule you as the last or first appointment of the day to allow time to stop as needed in order to regain composure. 

Consider other options for ongoing episodes of dental fears.

Some people have dental anxiety that causes them to have obsessive thoughts about going to the family dentist. There are also people who have bad dreams about dental visits on a regular basis. These types of fears could be a sign that alternative treatment is needed. Two options for coping with dental anxiety of this magnitude are therapy sessions with a psychologist or acupuncture sessions with an acupuncturist