Remember the last time you went to the dentist for a checkup? Didn’t you love that feeling of excitement that welled up inside you as the day of your appointment got closer and closer? How your family and friends were so jealous that you were the lucky one whose turn it was to get their teeth cleaned?
Yeah… we didn’t think so.
Let’s face it. Nobody gets excited about dental appointments, but you do it because you know you should. For those who have dental anxiety, though, even keeping their appointments for routine dental cleanings is much easier said than done.
But avoiding the dentist is only making things worse. Without a professional with the tools and training needed to detect and treat dental problems, you’re at a much greater risk for serious issues with your oral and overall health.
That’s why Dr. Chase and our team at Friendly Smiles Center wants to make sure you read today’s blog about how you can better understand the source of your dental anxiety and, ultimately, overcome it for the good of your health.
Possible Causes For Your Dental Anxiety
Let’s first talk about what dental anxiety is by giving you an example of what it might look like for many who suffer from it.
A person with dental anxiety doesn’t necessarily have some sort of paralyzing fear of the dentist’s office. It’s not a phobia because it’s not based on an irrational fear that keeps you frozen at the very mention of a dental appointment.
Dental anxiety is more of a nagging fear of the dentist. As your appointment approaches, you start to invent all sorts of excuses for why you can’t go. The day of your appointment, you ultimately decide you just don’t have time and that you’ll call and reschedule for a later date.
The only problem is that this cycle repeats and you’re not getting the dental care you need for a clean, healthy mouth.
So now we’ll look at some common reasons people experience dental anxiety in adulthood.
Traumatic Dental Experiences From Your Past
There are lots of things that are scary for children just because they’re unfamiliar. New experiences like the first haircut can be frightening to a kid. The dentist’s office is no different. But when you add to that an experience at one of your childhood appointments that was actually painful, it’s perfectly understandable that you’d carry those negative memories with you into adulthood.
Horror Stories You’ve Heard From Other People
Stories are really powerful, so even if you didn’t have a bad experience firsthand, just hearing horror stories from friends and family can be enough to send you into a panic about your own dental appointments.
The Fear Of Being Out Of Control
As a parent or a professional, you might be so used to being in charge that it’s tough for you to feel comfortable relinquishing control. When you’re receiving medical treatment of any kind, especially when you’re not familiar with a procedure, the process, or the tools involved, it can create a sense of panic from that loss of being in control of the situation.
Overcoming Dental Anxiety With Sedation Dentistry
At Friendly Smiles Center, we’re committed to providing you with a comfortable, positive experience every time you step into our Mount Laurel dental office. Here are two ways we can do that for fearful patients:
Usually called laughing gas, nitrous oxide is an inhaled form of sedation where you’re awake during treatment but very relaxed. It’s safe for all ages and is quite effective for patients who have a low level of anxiety.
Oral sedation is in the form of a pill that you take within about an hour of your procedure, and it’s more appropriate for patients who need a bit more help in feeling relaxed. You’re awake during treatment, but you’ll be so completely relaxed that you won’t care that it’s happening. Since you take it before your procedure and it might take awhile to wear off after, you’ll need to arrange a ride to and from your appointment.
Let Us Help Ease Your Dental Anxiety
Let our warm, caring staff here in Mount Laurel help ease your fears of the dentist with our sedation options. Call Friendly Smiles Center today at 856-359-4000 or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment.