A is for Anxiety

Do you dread going to the Dentist? Does your palms start to sweat and your heart starts beating faster when you walk in the door?  Do you find yourself avoiding making an appointment because of your fears?  If this describes you, you are not alone.  Somewhere between 9% and 20% of Americans avoid going to the dentist because of anxiety or fear.

According to WebMD here are some of the most common reasons for dental anxiety:

  • Fear of pain. Fear of pain is a very common reason for avoiding the dentist. This fear usually stems from an early dental experience that was unpleasant or painful or from dental “pain and horror” stories told by others. Thanks to the many advances in dentistry made over the years, most of today’s dental procedures are considerably less painful or even pain-free.
  • Fear of injections or fear the injection won’t work. Many people are terrified of needles, especially when inserted into their mouth. Beyond this fear, others fear that the anesthesia hasn’t yet taken effect or wasn’t a large enough dose to eliminate any pain before the dental procedure begins.
  • Fear of anesthetic side effects. Some people fear the potential side effects of anesthesia such as dizziness, feeling faint, or nausea. Others don’t like the numbness or “fat lip” associated with local anesthetics.
  • Feelings of helplessness and loss of control. It’s common for people to feel these emotions considering the situation — sitting in a dental chair with your mouth wide open, unable to see what’s going on.
  • Embarrassment and loss of personal space. Many people feel uncomfortable about the physical closeness of the dentist or hygienist to their face. Others may feel self-conscious about the appearance of their teeth or possible mouth odors.

If you suffer from any of these anxieties, the best thing you can do is talk about your fears with Dr Brogdon. He can discuss ways to make you feel less stressed and more comfortable.  Ask him to explain all he is doing, when he is doing it.  Knowing what to expect can help you relax. If you have any pain or just need to catch your breath, you might raise your hand or give him some signal to stop what he’s doing.

Dental Anxiety doesn’t have to keep you from having the best smile possible.  We are here to help.  Give us a call and set up that appointment.  Don’t be one of those 20%.

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