Dental anxiety often leads to serious oral and health issues down the road. The health of a person’s mouth affects their overall health. Oral issues like gum disease have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
People with dental anxiety have a fear of dentists that often prevents them from getting preventative care and treatments for oral issues they already have. About 75% of people in the U.S. have some form of dental anxiety. As a result of their fears, people typically put off going to the dentist until a severe oral problem causes excruciating pain giving them no other choice but to go to the dentist.
The importance of getting over dental anxiety
Figuring out ways to overcome your dental anxiety is a massive step towards safeguarding your oral health. It allows a person to get preventative dental treatments like periodic examinations, teeth cleanings, and dental sealants. Being able to get preventative treatments makes a person less likely to develop serious dental issues like gum disease and infections. It also gives the person an opportunity to get cosmetic dental treatments that keep their teeth looking great.
Here are some simple tips that can help you to get past dental anxiety:
- Talk to the dentist: People with dental phobias should share their fears with their dentist before and during their appointment. The dentist and their staff will tailor the treatment to put their patient at ease once they are aware of their fears. They might also come up with a signal that lets the dentist know the patient needs a break.
- Use relaxation aids: Being comfortable at the clinic can help patients with dental anxiety to stay calm and relaxed during their treatments. Taking deep, focused breaths can help to reduce anxiety and so can listening to music. Wireless earbuds are the way to go since there are no wires to interfere with the dentist and their staff working.
- Bring moral support: There is no such thing as being too old to bring someone along for support when going to the dentist. Having a loved one or close friend along helps with anxiety, and they can provide transportation for the patient if strong sedatives are used.
- Ask about sedatives for anxiety: Dentists use sedatives like laughing gas to keep their patients relaxed during treatments. Laughing gas is a fast-acting gas that wears off just as quickly. It leaves patients feeling euphoric and happy while the dentist works on their mouths. Dentists also prescribe sedatives like valium for patients who have a hard time getting to the clinic. Those who take such sedatives will need to arrange for transportation to and from the dentist.
Take control of your dental anxiety
Do not let dental phobias keep you from getting treatments that keep your mouth healthy. Call or visit our Chandler clinic to learn more about how we can help you to overcome your fears.