You’ve had a fear of going to the dentist for as long as you can remember. For some patients, this phobia can be traced back to a painful dental experience early in life. Others, meanwhile, may feel completely helpless sitting in a dental chair, regardless of the treatment or procedure.
We want you to know you aren’t alone in your dental phobia. In fact, nearly one in five Americans avoid going to the dentist altogether because of this fear. Unfortunately, the longer you put off obtaining regular dental care, the greater the chance of developing significant oral health challenges down the road.
Let’s take a closer look at the causes of dental phobia.
Fear of pain
Maybe you had several cavities filled as a kid and you absolutely hated the entire experience. Or perhaps you had a tooth removed to prepare for orthodontics and you dealt with a great deal of pain as a result. Whatever your situation, you now avoid the dentist because of a fear of pain.
We’re here to tell you at New Smile Dentures And Implants that there have been a number of advances in the industry just in the last decade. The combination of new technology and sedation dentistry (which we’ll discuss in detail later on in this post) helps patients feel more comfortable and at ease during their treatment. In fact, most of today’s procedures involve minimal pain.
Fear of needles
This is another common cause of dental fear. You probably know several people who can’t stand needles, let alone when they’re inserted into their mouth. Couple this anxiety with a fear of the procedure itself and it’s no surprise why people choose to make excuses for not going to the dentist.
Fear of side effects
Common side effects of anesthesia include dizziness, feeling faint, and nausea. Something else that gets people rethinking their appointment is the thought of having a “fat lip” when it’s all said and done. We should also mention that other patients find the numbness associated with local anesthetics to be uncomfortable.
Feeling of helplessness
It’s no secret we like to feel in control whenever possible. But when sitting in a dental chair, you’re essentially putting all of your trust in the hygienist or dentist. What further complicates this feeling of helplessness is that, unlike the dentist, you’re unable to see what’s going on in your mouth.
Feeling of embarrassment
Your reluctance to go to the dentist may just be because you’re self-conscious about the appearance of your teeth or a case of halitosis (bad breath). At New Smile Dentures And Implants, we’ve also worked with patients who initially felt uncomfortable about the physical closeness of the dentist to their face.
Alleviate Your Phobia With Sedation Dentistry In Denver
Now that you know what might be causing your fear of the dentist, let’s move on to possible coping solutions. From our years of experience, easing dental phobia starts with having an honest conversation with your dentist. They should have no problem listening to your concerns and then working with you to determine the best way to make you more comfortable during treatments.
At New Smile Dentures And Implants, we find that many patients appreciate Dr. Steele explaining what she’s doing at every step of the treatment. Not only does this ensure transparency, but it allows patients to prepare for what’s next to come during their procedure. Another helpful coping strategy for kids and adults is raising a hand whenever they want the hygienist or dentist to stop. This signal gives the patient a chance to relax, rinse their mouth, or just catch their breath.
Sedation dentistry is arguably the most effective treatment for combating dental phobia. At New Smile, we are proud to offer various sedation options for our patients. Whether your fear is relatively minimal and you prefer mild sedation or you need something stronger that puts you under for the duration of your procedure, we let you make the decision. Of course, we will have a conversation with you before getting started to decide the level of sedation that makes the most sense for your treatment.
Now for the million dollar question — who can benefit from sedation dentistry? Well, if you struggle with dental phobia, have a hard time sitting still in the chair, have a low pain threshold, or have an overactive gag reflex, we encourage you to ask about sedation options. Keep in mind that sedation dentistry is also safe and effective for children who might have a difficult time handling treatment.
Here at New Smile Dentures And Implants, we want every patient to receive the dental treatment they need without feeling anxious and/or in pain. Regardless of the procedure, your safety and comfort are always our top priorities. Call us today to learn more about sedation dentistry!