Dental fear or anxiety is a lot more prevalent than most people think. Sure, it’s normal to be somewhat anxious before going to a dental office, but if this anxiety prevents you from visiting the dentist and getting the care you need, you may have dental anxiety. Luckily, there are several ways to deal with it, but first, you need to find a dentist with experience treating patients with dental anxiety.
What is Dental Anxiety?
Dental anxiety is a common problem affecting millions of Americans. It’s estimated that approximately 36% of Americans avoid going to the dentist due to anxiety or fear, with 12% suffering from extreme dental phobia. People with dental anxiety will routinely miss or avoid dental appointments and may find it difficult to undergo dental treatment regardless of whether it is simple or complex. This condition manifests in several ways, but some of the most common symptoms include sweating, racing heartbeat or palpitations, low blood pressure, fainting, visible distress, crying, or panic.
You may be nervous or scared of going to the dentist for several reasons. Some of the most common reasons for dental anxiety include:
- Fear of pain
- Previous painful or negative experiences in the dental chair, especially during childhood
- History of generalized anxiety disorder
- Trust issues
- Dental horror stories from friends or family members
- Fear of needles and drilling
- Discomfort with an invasion of personal space
- Fear of anesthesia side effects
- Fear of feeling helpless or losing control
- Embarrassment or being too self-conscious about your oral health condition
How Do We Help with Dental Anxiety at Restoration Dental?
At Restoration Dental, we want you to be comfortable and relaxed when you visit our Mesa practice for your dental appointment. We are committed to building a trusting relationship with all our patients, so we will work with you to address and manage your specific concerns and make your visit as relaxing and stress-free as possible.
We offer the following to help you cope with dental anxiety and have a more positive experience:
- Spa-like environment
- Comfort amenities
- Noise-canceling headphones
- Hot hand towels
We also provide sedation dentistry options if necessary. For mild dental anxiety, nitrous oxide is an excellent choice. Breathing in the gas puts your mind in a relaxed, euphoric state, keeping you calm while we perform your dental work. For moderate to severe dental anxiety, oral conscious sedation may be recommended.
What If I Haven’t Been to the Dentist in a While?
The biggest problem with dental anxiety is that it often causes people to avoid essential dental care. This can become a vicious cycle where avoiding the dentist’s office increases anxiety, and increasing anxiety leads to more avoidance of necessary care. The longer you go without a dental cleaning or exam, the worse your oral health will become, resulting in tooth decay, gum disease, and even tooth loss.
The best way to avoid complex dental procedures and pain is to visit your dentist regularly. Not only will your dentist diagnose problems and help you prevent future issues, but they will also help manage your oral health. No matter how long it has been since you’ve been to the dentist, there is always time to get back on track with your oral health. The more time you spend in the dentist’s chair having positive experiences, the easier future visits will become.
Don’t Let Dental Anxiety Prevent You from Getting the Care You Deserve! Contact Us!
If you dread going to the dentist because of a bad prior experience or you haven’t been to the dentist in a while because you suffer from dental anxiety, Restoration Dental is here to help. Our priority is your comfort, and we do everything we can to help you feel at ease during your appointment. Our dental practice in Mesa, AZ, is non-judgmental, friendly, warm, and empathetic, and we will take the time to get to know you, understand your fears and help you get the care you need and deserve. Contact us today to schedule your appointment, and let us help you maintain a healthy, beautiful smile.
I am Dr. Fadi Naioom, a dedicated dentist who graduated with a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health in 2014. After realizing my dream of opening my own dental office in Phoenix Valley amidst the 2020 pandemic, I have committed myself to delivering personalized, comprehensive dental care to my patients. Beyond dentistry, I am a family man and a movie enthusiast, appreciating every moment I spend with my wife Mary and our two children, Micah and Emma.