According to WebMD, “Between 9% and 20% of Americans avoid going to the dentist because of anxiety or fear.”
Dental phobia is more than just being afraid of the dentist, it’s about being terrified. Avoiding the dentist is the easiest solution as trouble sleeping, crying, feeling physically ill and intense uneasiness are just a few of the symptoms someone with dental anxiety may struggle with. However, by delaying or not going to the dentist, you’re increasing the risk of developing dental problems. Developing dental problems only ensures more potential dentist visits.
Here at The Center for Oral & Maxilloficial Surgery Carolina, we want you to know that you’re not alone in feeling dental anxiety. We’re aware of the fears you may have and our experienced staff are dedicated to ensuring your dental and emotional health will be taken care of during your dental experience with us.
Here are some things you can do to ensure we can best treat you and your anxieties:
Use Your Words
While your anxiety may be telling you to be quiet and hide your anxious thoughts and feelings, we’re telling you just the opposite! Communicating with our qualified staff allows us the opportunity to comfort you and answer any potential questions or concerns you may have. Sometimes just having a resource close at hand to discredit your fears can lower your anxiety.
Agree on a Signal of Discomfort
Agree on a signal of discomfort that allows your dentist to know if and when you’re feeling uncomfortable. Having a signal you’re both aware of allows you to signal discomfort and anxiety without having to use your mouth to communicate.
Raising your hand, clenching your fists or blinking your eyes can all be signals to the dentist that you are feeling anxious.
Bring Items of Comfort
Feel free to bring items that bring you comfort or help distract you.
- Bring headphones and playlists of comforting music, podcasts or comedic skits
- Bring a stress ball or fidget spinner
- If you’re trying to comfort a child with dental anxiety, bring their favorite stuffed animal or comfort item
Our dental team here at The Center for Oral & Maxilloficial Surgery Carolina wants all of our patients to feel comfortable and welcome. We are here to answer your questions and help you manage your fears along the way. Let us ensure your teeth are healthy so you can avoid dental problems and thus more visits!