If you fear going to the dentist, you are not alone. An estimated 30 to 40 million Americans do not go to the dentist because of anxiety and fear, according to a study by the Colombia University of Dental Medicine.
There are many reasons patients might have fear when it comes to visiting the dentist, including the amount of time that has lapsed since their last appointment, anticipation of pain, negative memories of past experiences, or fear that the dentist will ignore their concerns.
The care teams at Champagne Family Dentistry understand that anxiety is a very real thing for many dental patients. Our top priority is to have compassion for our patients and make sure they are comfortable.
Here are some tips we recommend to patients in order to ease their anxiety about visiting the dentist office:
- Make that Appointment No Matter How Long It Has Been. Even if a patient’s dental care is way overdue, we understand. No matter how long it has been, it’s always a good time to start. And if patients have more than one procedure that needs to be done, we can address these over time and at a pace that works best for patients.
- Communicate Your Fears to Your Dentist. We are hear to listen to our patients. Expressing your concerns helps the dentist to adapt the treatment to your needs.
- Use Humor. Laughing and being positive with the dental staff can help patients relax and handle their treatment better.
- Use Hand Signals. Communicate to your dentist that you feel comfortable using hand signals to let the staff know to ease off or stop the procedure.
- Breathe Slowly and Regularly. Being nervous often causes people to hold their breath, which decreases oxygen levels and increases feelings of panic. Focus on taking slow, regular breaths.
We also offer our patients entertainment options to help them tune out and relax and in some cases, the option of sedation.
Cancel Out the Noise. The sound of dental work isn’t necessarily pleasant to most people. Patients who choose to tune out have the option to use noise-cancelling headphones to listen to music on Pandora or watch a ceiling-mounted television.
Watch Your Favorite TV Show or Movie. If you are behind on your favorite Netflix show, we encourage you to use your time in the dental chair to catch up. Patients have the choice to watch Netflix, cable, or a DVD movie.
Consider If Dental Sedation Is Right for You. In some cases, we offer patients dental sedation such as nitrous oxide or other sedation options. We recommend you ask your dentist if he or she thinks this is the right option for you.
Stress and anxiety are very common for dental patients. However, there are many techniques that can make dental care less stressful. Studies have shown that patients who do not go to the dentist regularly require more complicated dental procedures and can experience long-term health issues.
We are here to help make your experience as comfortable and stress-free as possible! Feel free to schedule your appointment today.