According to the Journal of Dental Hygiene, up to 80% of people in the U.S. have some level of dental anxiety. Many of these people avoid seeing a dentist altogether because of their anxiety. Managing your fears and anxieties regarding dental care can be challenging, but it is possible.
Our Amherst dentist would be glad to help you come up with a plan to manage your dental fears and get the care you need. Please do not wait to contact our office to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Douglas Hamill.
What is Dental Anxiety?
Many people have anxiety associated with seeing a dentist. Their fear may be of needles, dental tools, loss of control, or dental offices in general. The more severe cases are referred to as dental phobias.
Anxiety symptoms can include heart palpitations, sweating, racing heart, racing thoughts, crying, and withdrawing. These feelings can make it incredibly hard for you even to schedule a dental visit, let alone try to sit in the dentist’s chair.
Unfortunately, dental phobias lead to many Americans having poor dental hygiene.
Tips for Managing Dental Anxiety
We understand how consuming anxiety can be. We want you to be able to get the dental care you need. The following are tips for managing your dental anxieties.
Discuss Dental Sedation with Your Dentist
Have a conversation with your dentist about sedation options if you have a treatment coming up that is triggering your anxiety. We typically offer some form of dental sedation for uncomfortable procedures. You can talk to your dentist about sedation, even if it is a routine cleaning that you are having trouble getting yourself to go to.
Don’t Avoid the Dentist
We understand that this can come as a difficult piece of advice, but you should not avoid seeing a dentist if you have a dental issue. You should reach out to your dentist right away and talk to them about how you can manage your dental anxiety for the treatment you need right now before it gets worse. We do not want you waiting until the cavity turns into an abscess that, for instance, once could have been treated with a quick filling but now requires a root canal.
Get Preventative Care
We strongly recommend getting regular cleanings and fluoride treatments if more invasive procedures trigger your dental anxiety. Getting your teeth regularly checked and treated with enamel-strengthening fluoride can help you avoid serious dental issues. If you can manage your anxiety enough to get your teeth cleaned regularly, you can avoid having to worry about dental issues that would require you to sedate yourself for the treatment.
Take Excellent Care of Your Teeth
Prioritize your at-home dental care. Floss your teeth after eating, use fluoride mouthwash, and brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day. By taking great care of your teeth between professional cleanings and fluoride treatments, you can avoid having dental health issues that would trigger your anxiety.
Schedule Your Free Consultation
If you would like to meet with Dr. Douglas Hamill to discuss how to manage your dental anxiety to get the dental care you need, please get in touch with our office right away. You deserve to have excellent oral hygiene despite having fears.
Call our office today to schedule your free consultation with our Amherst family dentist.