Understanding Your Dental Anxiety Can Make It Easier To Manage
By some estimates, between 30 and 40 million Americans avoid going to the dentist, at least in part, due to feelings of dental anxiety.
You may be one of them. You may understand the health benefits of regular dental care, yet it may not help you overcome the emotional barrier that dental anxiety creates.
Our team at Galleria of Smiles want you to know that it’s OK for you to have those feelings. We also want you to know that we would like to help you learn to manage that anxiety.
Sedation dentistry is one option, and we also offer comfort options that many people find similarly relaxing. Whenever a patient visits our dentist office in Tulsa, OK, we want him or her to feel comfortable and relaxed throughout their stay.
It can take time for you to get to that point. But we want you to know that we will be here each step of the way when you are ready to start your journey.
Why Do You Experience Dental Anxiety?
You may know the exact reason(s), or you may not have given much thought to why dental care causes you to feel fearful. If you can take a moment to think about it, that could help us figure out what we can do help.
We recommend getting some paper and a pen or pencil. Writing down some things can help if you do decide to schedule a consultation with us. (Note that we said consultation, not appointment. We’ll take things one step at a time.)
You want to try to figure out a couple things. How severe is your dental anxiety? What causes your anxious feelings?
Take a moment to write down your answers to a few questions:
▸ How would you feel if you knew you had a dental appointment tomorrow morning?
▸ When would you start to feel anxious: the night before, on your way to the dentist office, or after arriving at the office?
▸ On a scale from 0 to 10, how strong would you say your dental anxiety is?
Take a moment to look at your answers. Think about how you would explain this to someone who wants to help you learn to manage that anxiety.
Then, consider a few more questions. These relate to common concerns we have heard from patients about why they feel anxious.
▸ Are you worried that the dentist may be critical of the condition of your teeth?
▸ Are you worried that dental care will be painful? If so, are you concerned about any particular equipment (such as a needle or a drill)?
▸ Are your worried that you may gag during your treatment?
▸ Are you bothered by the sounds of dental equipment being moved around or used?
▸ Have you have a bad dental experience previously?
Understanding your answers to those questions can help you as well. We can tell you that we have helped and continue to help patients with one or more of those concerns.
Dr. Justin Emami and our staff at Galleria of Smiles wants to help however we can. Dr. Emami has conducted phone interviews with patients to help set up a customized care plan before they ever step foot in our office. Contact us if you would like to schedule your own phone interview.
Taking things one step at a time can help you get where you want to go.
Dental Sedation And Comfort Options
For some patients with mild dental anxiety, our comfort options can do wonders.
We can offer you a blanket, a pillow, or both to help you feel as cozy as you can be while receiving your dental care. Some patients like to squeeze a stress ball.
And other people prefer to distract themselves with music, comedy, or positive news stories. We have headphones for you to borrow or you can bring your own.
If your dental anxiety is more severe, then dental sedation may be a better option for you. With sedation, you have a little help staying relaxed.
Nitrous oxide, oral sedation, and IV sedation can prevent you from feeling any pain, can keep you calm and relaxed, and may even prevent you from remembering what happened during your visit.
The first step can sometimes be the hardest. If you take it, Galleria of Smiles will be here to walk with you the rest of the way.
To learn more about our sedation and comfort options or about our approach to dental care in general, feel free to contact us online or to call 918-302-2401.