Maybe it’s the sound of the drill. Perhaps it’s the smell. Or it could be a lingering bad memory. No matter the reason, the fact remains that 80 million Americans aren’t getting the dental care they need because of dental fear. At our dental offices in Cherry Hill, Gibbsboro, Linwood, and Washington Township offices, we recognize this very real anxiety, we understand, and we’d like to help.
Avoiding the dentist can have serious effects on your oral and whole-body health. Many whole-body ailments are linked to oral health, and not taking proper care of one directly influences the other. Gum disease, for example, can lead to other problems including heart disease, increased risk for strokes, and even cancer. This connection makes conquering dental fear extremely important for a long and healthy life.
How to Ease Dental Nervousness
- Talk to Friends and Family. Speaking with those close to you about their dental experiences and their individual dentists can not only help ease some concerns, it can start you on the journey to finding the right dentist for you. Ask friends or family members what they like about their dentists, check the doctors out online, and read reviews. Then pick up the phone and schedule an appointment. This is always the first step towards easing anxieties.
- Be Honest. Honesty goes a long way, especially when we’re talking about your health. Be honest with the dental team from your first phone call. Make sure they know you’re not 100% comfortable or relaxed about visiting. Then once you get there, talk with them and the doctor about your fears. Dental anxiety is common and dental teams have training to help.
- Keep Talking. One of the most important things you can do is establish trust with your dentist. Talk to him and ask questions. Make sure he understands your concerns. He should talk to you about each treatment, what to expect, and even discuss a signal to use if you do become anxious during treatment.
- Bring a Distraction. Sometimes, being in the dental chair alone can trigger nervousness. Your mouth is open, you’re lying back, someone’s hands are in your mouth, and it can feel very claustrophobic. Some practices offer patient comforts for exactly this reason. If your dentist doesn’t, bring some music or an audio book, practice deep breathing, or put on some sunglasses.
If you’ve been suffering from dental anxiety, give our offices a call. We’ll never lecture you or make you feel embarrassed. In fact, we’ll talk with you about your concerns and work together to get you the care you need, all while ensuring you’re at ease and comfortable every step of the way.