Young man in black shirt meeting dentist. Shaking hands with client and dentist.

Coping With Your Dental Anxiety

Dental anxiety is a serious problem for many people. It’s defined as stress or fear surrounding visiting a dentist. That intense worry can be associated with previously bad dental experiences growing up or into adulthood. You can have apprehensive fear of certain dental tools or exams. Maybe the fear comes from something as simple as gagging at that gritty toothpaste the hygienist uses to clean your teeth.

At Vero Implants and Periodontics, we understand how difficult dental anxiety can be for some of our patients. That’s why we go to great lengths to make you as comfortable and calm as possible at our Vero Beach dental practice. Being afraid of the dentist is not a joking matter. Avoiding the dentist can lead to significant mouth issues when you don’t have a dentist properly care for your teeth and gums. Here are some ways to cope with your dental anxiety so that you can have exceptional oral health.

A Very Common Phobia

In a study that was done about the prevalence of dental phobia or anxiety, researchers found that 58 percent of those polled experienced some form of fear about going to the dentist. It’s called dentophobia or odontophobia. Children also can go through forms of this anxiety and fear as well. They also found that a person’s age or level of education didn’t matter because people from all walks of life had a fear of dentists.

7 Ways to Overcome Dental Anxiety

There are some beneficial ways to overcome feeling anxious about going to the dentist. Going to see the best dentist in Vero Beach, Fl at Vero Implants and Periodontics will help. Our staff is trained to deal with these common fears among our clientele. So we go to great lengths to make sure you have the best possible experience with us. Here are 7 tips that may help make your next visit a little bit better.

Tip #1: Let the Dentist Know Your Fears

The more you communicate with your dentist about your fears, the better they will be able to guide you through the procedures you need to have. They can exercise more patience with you if you need to take a break throughout any kind of oral care procedure. Plus, if you tell them about what bothers you in past bad experiences, they may be able to recommend ways to avoid repeating those problems.

Tip #2: Book the Same Times Each Year

With routine cleanings, it’s important to keep a rolling appointment scheduled each year. That way you’ll know exactly when to go to the dentist and you’ll get used to going at that time.

Tip #3: Distraction is Key

When you are going through a procedure, try to distract yourself. It may be helpful to have your favorite music playing in your headphones, listen to a book on tape, or watch a television show or movie. Some exam rooms even have personal television sets. Distraction is a great tool to help you not be so focused on what the dentist or periodontist is doing to your mouth.

Tip #4: Sedation for Dental Anxiety

If you absolutely can’t stand the thought of being awake for any type of procedure, it may be helpful to use conscious sedation. This is where they will put you under anesthesia through an IV for an experience you won’t even be aware of.

Tip #5: See a Doctor for Dental Anxiety

You may also need to see a doctor or therapist to cope with severe dental anxiety. They can also prescribe you a proper prescription of anxiety medication. You can take the medication while you are at the dentist to relax you during any visit there.

Tip #6: Focus On Your Breathing

In order to combat anxious feelings before and during a dental appointment, it’s important to focus on your breathing. Take deep cleansing breaths and repeat a calming mantra in your head. It can be anything you want, a word you like, or a phrase such as “I’m safe, this is going to be fine” will help.

Tip #7: Choose a Dentist You Like and Trust

The dentist or periodontist you go to is very important. It’s helpful to pick someone like Dr. Jeffrey Brown at Vero Implants and Periodontics. His manner is warm and friendly with compassionate care for his clients. He definitely understands those clients who aren’t the biggest fans of the dentist. Calming your dental anxiety and helping you cope is part of being a great periodontist. Contact Vero Implants and Periodontics today for your next visit.