Written on Friday, May 06, 2016
EASE FEARS OF GOING TO DENTIST
Ways to Calm Your Dental Anxiety
Believe it or not, dental phobia is one of the most common fears people face. In fact, an estimated 40 million* Americans avoid the dentist because of fear and anxiety. These concerns can stem from our childhood and are compounded if we’ve had a bad dental experience in our adult lives. Left unaddressed, dental anxiety can lead to unnecessary health problems like gum disease, which can leave you facing more time in the dentist’s chair for treatment.
Carolina Dental Arts understands your concerns and is dedicated to providing the most gentle care in a warm, compassionate atmosphere. Our dentists will put your mind at ease when you visit any of our NC dental offices. If you’ve struggled with going to the dentist because of a previous experience, here are some helpful ways to deal with your fear and move forward to achieve optimal dental health.
- Open up to your dentist about your fears. While it might seem difficult at first, expressing your concerns to your dentist can relieve a lot of stress. When both you and your dentist begin to consider your internal anxieties, you can work at a pace that is more comfortable. Start by setting up an agreement with your dentist to discuss any routine checkups and procedures you may need. At Carolina Dental Arts, we approach this in a way that is easy to understand. We’ll listen carefully to your concerns, while providing explanations to your questions, until you feel confident about your visit.
- Discuss your concerns with a family member or close friend. It’s important to remember if you push yourself to do something you’re afraid of, chances are you’ll remember how unpleasant it was and reinforce the fear, rather than get over it. Instead of putting off a dentist appointment, work through your fears with a loved one.
- Bring some extra help along for your visit to the dentist. If the sound of a drill is unsettling, try bringing a portable audio player and earphones with you so you can listen to music. During your next visit, focus on breathing regularly and slowly. When we’re nervous, we tend to hold our breath, which decreases oxygen levels and increases feelings of panic. If you need to, practice deep breathing on your way to the appointment. To help decrease your heart rate, try avoiding caffeine before your visit. Another trick is to eat high-protein foods, as these will produce a calming affect.
If it’s been a long time since your last dental appointment, you might have some anxiety about finding a dentist who you trust. You can always ask your family or friends to recommend a dentist. At Carolina Dental Arts, our goal is to provide you with a good experience, no matter what you need. If you would like to discuss an upcoming appointment, or talk about a procedure, please use our contact form. We look forward to seeing you!
*According to an article reviewed by Columbia University College of Dental Medicine
Carolina Dental Arts is dedicated to providing gentle, expert dental care in a safe atmosphere, for patients of all ages at our NC dentist offices in Charlotte – Blakeney, Charlotte – South Park, Durham, Goldsboro, Greensboro, Morrisville and Raleigh.