According to recent studies, between nine and 15 percent of Americans (30-40 million people) avoid the dentist because of their dental phobia or dental anxiety. This statistic shows just how serious of a problem dental anxiety really is. Without visiting the dentist, one runs the risk of developing a multitude of dental problems, or existing problems can become worse over time.
If you are one of those people who has put off a dental checkup because you are nervous about treatment, the Mesquite Dental & Implant Center can help. Our clinic is staffed by polite, helpful, and gentle technicians, and our dentist will work with you to overcome your anxiety. Call us today to schedule a dental appointment and to discuss how we can help treat you, even if you have a dental phobia.
Techniques to Manage Dental Anxiety
While there are ways that we can help you once you are in the office, we have found that patients with dental anxiety and phobias have responded best when they begin managing their symptoms before they come in to.
- Meditation and deep breathing. Deep breathing and mindfulness has proven to help people overcome many different kinds of stress, including stress caused by dental and other kinds of medical care. There are many great podcasts and videos online that can show you how to use these simple, free techniques to your benefit.
- One easy way to start using these techniques is to sit in a quiet room and think about going to the dentist. While you might feel uneasy or nervous at first, take a deep breath in through your nose, hold it for a few seconds, and then exhale through your mouth. Repeat this cycle again and again while focusing on the feeling of the air moving into and out of your body. Each time you think about the dentist, breathe until your heart rate has returned to its normal resting rate.
- Distraction. While distraction might seem like the polar opposite of meditation and mindfulness, it helps calm you in many of the same ways that deep breathing does. Instead of focusing on the things that cause you stress (dental treatment) distracting yourself with something simple like counting in your head, listening to music, or looking at a screen, may help your brain associate something positive with something that you are worried about.
Be sure to ask the staff what your distraction options are when you call for your appointment!
If your dental anxiety is severe, or if you are trying to overcome a dental phobia, we have several sedation dentistry treatments that will physically calm and relax you. From nitrous oxide to an oral medication, the Mesquite Dental & Implant Center has options that will make your time at the dentist safe, calm, and productive.
With our help, you can get the dental care that you need. Contact our office today to learn more about our sedation dentistry, as well as the other treatments available to you at our clinic.