You Don’t Need to be Afraid of the Dentist!
Overcoming Anxiety Related to Dental Care
For millions of people, visiting the dentist can produce anxiety and stress that can keep them from routine dental care and even prevent them from seeing a dentist when experiencing mouth pain. Experts estimate that more than 20% of the population experiences enough emotional discomfort to avoid the dentist unless they are in significant pain. 5-10% experience a significant enough dental phobia to avoid the dentist completely.
Proper dental care is more than simply a check-up or having a bad tooth extracted. Dentists work with patients to avoid or treat gum disease, a condition that, if left untreated, can lead to serious medical problems. In other words, visiting your dentist regularly is more than a nicety…it is a necessity for good health.
So how do you get to the dentist when you fear the visit? Fortunately, many dentists have been trained in handling patients who are experiencing fear related to their dental care. There are many techniques and tools for reducing any discomfort and ensuring a successful visit for the patient.
At PM Dental Care, in Mineola, LI, we want your dental experience to be a positive one. That’s why we make every effort to ensure your comfort. We explain every step of the process, to avoid any surprises. And, we check with you at every stage to make sure you are ready for the next steps.
If you are someone who suffers from dental phobia, do some research…ask friends or others who you trust for a recommendation. Go visit the office before your appointment. You can even ask to meet the dentist first to make sure you get a good feeling from him or her. An eye to eye conversation can be very helpful before sitting in the dental chair. At your appointment, you may try several techniques to keep calm – from deep breathing exercises to listening to music to focusing on an image that calms you (bring a favorite photo with you) – there is an array of self-soothing techniques to help you through the experience.
And, for those, who need to ‘sleep’ through the procedure or check-up, we have a dental anesthesiologist on staff, who can offer sedation therapy. He can help determine the best choice for you and for the procedure you need. Whether you need anesthesia, nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or IV sedation, we can accommodate you. Once the procedure is over, you will awaken to find your procedure is over and you are better than alright!
Avoiding dental phobia is yet another reason to begin bringing small children to the dentist. Children who see their dentist twice annually from a very young age come to know the dentist as someone on their side in staying healthy, just like their pediatrician. In developing a relationship with the dentist early on, children can avoid the issue of dental phobia from ever beginning. If your child is over two years of age and has never gone for a check-up, or it has been more than six months since your child’s last visit, one should consider making an appointment.
Dental phobia is a serious issue. But there are many solutions and one will be right for you. So be sure to get your check-ups taken care of…the dentist is really there to help!
Have a great day and a bright smile!