Because of fear and anxiety, as many as 40 million Americans avoid the dentist, according to the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine.
So why the fear and anxiety behind going to the dentist?
Various reasons come into play. Some patients experience pain during their visit, others fear that they have let their dental problem go on too long to be fixed. Additional stressors include negative impressions of prior encounters and even the dental office’s sterile smell. Often times anxiety can even stem from simply having to modify your daily routine.
Dental anxiety can lead appointment avoidance, which in turn can lead to oral health issues if left unaddressed. This can create a snowball effect of needed work and accompanying anxiety.
Trust and communication can help! At Solutions Dental, we are a ZERO judgement dental office, with the mission of providing quality care in a comfortable, welcoming environment.
One of the most important factors in overcoming dental anxiety is good communication between you and your dentist. When you feel informed and in control throughout a visit, you’re typically less anxious.
Tips for staying calm and getting to the dentist:
Share your anxieties: Let your dentist know that you are uncomfortable or anxious about your visit. We are no strangers to anxious patients and can accommodate you to help remedy the situation. We’re here for you!
Focus on breathing: Do not forget to breath, irregular breathing patterns, or even holding your breath can increase anxiety and the feeling of loss of control. Focus on normal breaths, or even slower and deeper breathing to help keep you calm. If you get overly anxious or need a break, just let us know.
Listen to some tunes: Go ahead and enjoy the music you love most, you aren’t going to be going anywhere during your visit. You also won’t need to be doing any of the work. It is your job to sit back and relax, so go ahead and throw on some tunes if it helps you!
Watch what you eat or drink: Caffeine can cause a spike in anxiety, so save the coffee for a job well done later on. Eat high protein foods before your visit as it can help create a calming effect, unlike sugar which should also be avoided.
Choose a low stress setting: Shop dental reviews to see what dentist is rated highly. Read the reviews to see if the dental offices practices and methods align with your needs as a patient. The dentist you choose is just that, your choice!