Anxiety in the Dentist’s Chair
There are not many people out there who like going to the dentist, but for some people, even the thought of it can bring on such fear that they avoid it all together.
Some people’s fear of the dentist or having a dental procedure done, is so severe that they even lose sleep and excessively worry about what might happen while they are in the dentist’s chair. Dental anxiety is common and something most dentists see on a daily basis.
Most dental anxiety is found in older people who may have experienced treatment when dental technology was not as advanced as it is today. Most children today have had very few bad experiences at the dentist and so are less likely to develop a phobia.
Quite often we see older people who have suffered a bad experience earlier on in life which stays with them into adulthood. This is mainly because they may have had a dental procedure when anaesthetic was less effective, or not used at all, and when dentists may have been less focused on the patient’s comfort.
How to overcome dental anxiety
Communicate with your dentist: One of the best ways to overcome your anxiety is to talk to your dentist about how you are feeling. By explaining why you feel so anxious when visiting the practice, the dentist will be able to help put our mind at rest so that you can move forward.
Use your hands: It is difficult to talk while undergoing treatment so before starting a procedure, talk to your dentist about using hand signals before starting a procedure. Most dentists will ask you to raise a hand should you feel any pain or discomfort and will stop straight away.
Distraction: Listen to the radio or bringing your own headphones to listen to familiar songs can ease your anxiety and focus less on what is happening in your mouth.
Ask about sedation: If you are extremely anxious about dental treatment, consider having sedation. This is a partial loss of consciousness and can help you deal with treatment better. Talk to Dr Bechar about whether sedation is suitable for you.
Take a break: If you feel like you need to take a break during a dental procedure then just let your dentist know. Anxiety can build up if you start to feel claustrophobic so don’t be afraid to say you say you need a breather.
It is quite often the fear of the unknown which causes dental anxiety, so don’t be afraid to ask questions about any dental procedure you’re having. A dentist will always make sure they do everything they can to make you feel comfortable. Visiting the dentist regularly is vital to your oral health so it’s well worth the effort.
We are very patient and gentle with patients and are quite confident that we can help you overcome this fear. Why not give us call?