Experiencing some dental anxiety level before or during a dental appointment is more common than you may think. Although this anxiety may be unwarranted, that still does not change the fact that a dentist’s visit can be a frightening experience for many people. There are effective ways to manage your dental anxiety, and Lovett Dental Pearland can help.
Signs of Dental Phobia
Individual patients experience dental anxiety in different ways. Further adding to the complexity of dental anxiety is the fact that different triggers are involved. It is important to address this type of anxiety because it can cause you to avoid needed dental care and even your routine teeth-cleaning appointments. Unfortunately, this is counterproductive because delaying treatment often leads to the need for more expensive and uncomfortable procedures down the road.
You may be experiencing dental anxiety if you have difficulty sleeping on the night before your dental visit. You may be remembering past experiences or playing out different scenarios in your head involving something going wrong, such as experiencing unexpected pain or discomfort.
Other patients find themselves feeling uneasy while waiting for their appointment in the dental office. No amount of magazines or anxious phone-watching seems to help. The feeling of dread mounts as the time of the appointment approaches.
Other signs of dental-related anxiety include:
- Feeling physically ill when anticipating a visit to the dentist
- Having problems breathing when you are in the dental chair and receiving dental care
- Putting off treatment until you experience severe pain
Common Types of Dental Anxiety
You may find it easier to resolve your fears when you determine what is triggering them. For many people, anxiety results from fears such as:
- Fear of pain — You may have had a negative experience previously or have received bad information about a needed dental treatment or procedure.
- Fear of needles or dental instruments — This is a widespread one. It is also common to be afraid that the anesthesia will not work, and pain is unavoidable.
- Anxiety surrounding anesthesia’s side effects — Some patients are anxious about how anesthesia in sedation dentistry may make them feel. They worry about becoming nauseated, dizzy, or having a numb mouth.
- Anxiety surrounding the loss of control — It can be difficult for some patients to be unable to see what is going on in their mouths.
Tips for Managing Dental Anxiety
Using visualization techniques helps many patients. While you are in the dental chair, go to your “happy place” and replay a pleasant memory or think about an upcoming event that you are eagerly anticipating.
Asking questions can be helpful. Ask your dentist about any concerns that you may have about your treatment so that your fears can be put to rest.
You may not realize it, but asking for a timeout is normally permitted. For example, you and your dentist can agree beforehand on a hand signal to let them know that you need a break.
Many dentists use sedation dentistry options to help ease patient anxiety. Some common choices include the use of nitrous oxide, commonly known as “laughing gas.” This gas is inhaled through a mask to promote patient comfort.
Oral sedatives are also available that can be taken a few hours before your appointment. This will allow you to be both conscious and responsive yet relaxed.
Lovett Dental Pearland Can Help You Overcome Dental Anxiety
If you are embarrassed about your tendency to experience dental anxiety, don’t be. This is a very common feeling that your team at Lovett Dental Pearland is capable of addressing. We want you to be completely safe and comfortable during your visit with us. If you would like to receive more information on alleviating dental anxiety, call Lovett Dental Pearland at 281-416-5844 to schedule an appointment.