Dental anxiety is a phenomenon shared by people of all ages and backgrounds. Studies show that approximately 10-13% of the population suffers anxiety about visiting the dentist.
Causes vary from person to person but some common causes are:
- An unpleasant experience as a child and the fear that the experience will be repeated.
- Fear of specific aspects of the dentists such as smells or the sounds associated with the visit.
- Fear of contact with strangers in general, particularly in close proximity.
Regardless of the cause of your anxiety, proper dental care is an important part of your overall health. There are some strategies that can help you cope with your fear.
Talk to Us
We will work with you to find ways to support you during your visits. You may want to talk with the dentist before scheduling an appointment to lessen the anxiety. Ask to work at a pace you feel comfortable with.
Ask about the procedures and what to expect
Often anxiety is based on the unexpected. Some people feel better if they know what is happening during each stage of the procedure.
Distraction can help
Sometimes listening to music during the procedures helps reduce your anxiety. Some patients find other techniques such as breathing exercises, meditation or concentrating on relaxing each part of your body in turn helpful in reducing anxiety.
Some patients find that using sedation based on nitrous oxide and air helps reduce anxiety. A mask is placed over the nose and mouth and the mixture breathed in. The mixture wears off quickly after the procedure is finished and has no long lasting affects.
Some patients may want to explore other options such as counseling or psychotherapy to deal with their anxiety. Often this type of treatment will explore the root causes of your anxiety and work with you to find more ways to overcome your fears.