A General Dentist Talks About Dental Phobia

A General Dentist Talks About Dental Phobia from Mission Valley Dental Arts in San Diego, CAFor patients who have been avoiding seeing a general dentist because of fear or apprehension, it may be helpful to know that they are not alone. A 2015 study published in Dental Research Journal found that 58.8% of dental patients surveyed experienced dental anxiety. For patients with severe dental phobia, there are several steps they can take to ensure a better, more relaxed experience at the dentist.

Anxiety-calming techniques

Dental anxiety and phobias can often feel crippling. If a patient is extremely anxious before seeing a general dentist, these techniques may be helpful for getting through an appointment.

Reach out beforehand

For patients with dental anxiety or dental phobia, it is a good idea to reach out to a general dentist before an appointment in order to explain their issues. Anxiety and even phobias around dental work is a familiar phenomenon to many dentists, and most can adjust their treatment plan with a patient's anxiety in mind. A dentist will often take extra care when explaining procedures to highly anxious patients, and they can also take breaks to check in and make sure the patient is not becoming overwhelmed.

Remember to breathe

This suggestion may sound obvious. In many cases, people who are anxious or acutely stressed will hold their breath or only take shallow breaths. When this happens, the brain receives less oxygen, causing even more anxiety. For patients who dread going to the dentist, just reminding themselves to take slow, deep breaths throughout the appointment may be helpful. Doing a few simple breathing exercises immediately before the visit will also help promote relaxation.

Focus on something else

Some dental offices have skylights or colorful ceiling tiles designed to give patients something pleasant to look at. If a patient's general dentist does not have an office like this, it may be wise to ask about listening to relaxing music through earbuds. If music is not an option, choosing something to focus on, such as an interesting-looking item on a countertop, can help take some of the focus off of the dental procedure itself.

Approaches for advanced phobias

Sometimes dental phobia is severe enough that regular anxiety management techniques will not work. For these patients, anti-anxiety medications, talk therapy or a combination of both may be needed. In some cases, either the general dentist or a primary care doctor may be able to prescribe a single dose of anti-anxiety medication. This medication is taken shortly before the dental appointment, and it helps the patient feel calmer without causing sedation.

For very severe dental phobias, talking with a qualified counselor or therapist can be helpful. Mental health professionals can help patients process their fears. Talk therapy may not immediately resolve the issue, but it can lessen the phobia over time.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: General Dentist in San Diego, CA.

Conclusion

Dental anxiety and phobias can make a routine visit to the general dentist feel like a terrifying situation. However, with anxiety-management techniques and the help of medical professionals, anxious patients can calmly and confidently navigate their next dental appointment.

Request an appointment or call Mission Valley Dental Arts at 619-805-4248 for an appointment in our San Diego office.

Recent Posts

The Most Common Dental Problems And Their Treatments

Teeth are certainly strong yet they will eventually pose some dental problems no matter how well you take care of them.  The teeth are living things with live tissues and nerves. The bottom line is dental problems will happen at one point or another.  Thankfully, dental technology is now at the point where it is…

At-Home Dental Care May Not Be Enough

Instead of giving up free time due to dental issues, spend a little bit of time at a general dentist and enjoy your life.We offer general dentist services including professional examinations and cleanings. While oral hygiene at home can help, we can identify and eliminate any early traces of decay before they spread.General DentistAt Mission…

Don't Let Dental Infections Catch You Unaware

The key to having a healthy mouth and great teeth is consistency. The more consistent one is with regular dental visits, coming in at least twice a year for cleaning and examinations, the less likely one is to have oral health problems. Unfortunately, another fact about general dentistry is that most people put off visiting…

Recent Posts

What Makes Dentures Vulnerable To Breaking

What Makes Dentures Vulnerable To Breaking

Dentures are a great option to replace missing teeth, but they have flaws. One of the most common complaints from wearers is that these teeth break easily. The question is, why? Several factors can lead to your false teeth breaking, and this article will explain to them so you know how to keep them intact.Dentures…

Choosing The Right Implant Dentist

Choosing The Right Implant Dentist

The implant dentist you choose can have a major impact on your overall experience and the long-term results of your dental implant procedure. Every implant dentist has a unique process and a different experience level and finding one that meets your specific needs and preferences can help make the process much more convenient.By putting in…