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How to Combat Dental Anxiety

Dental anxiety

You are not alone if the thought of a dental visit triggers your flight or fight response. Dental anxiety, or fear of dental procedures, affects 36% of the population. An additional 12% suffer from extreme dental anxiety or a dental phobia.

At Caputo Dental, we want to reduce your dental anxiety so you can have a healthy and happy mouth. We combat dental anxiety with sedation dentistry and patient-centered communication.

Sedation Dentistry

People suffer from dental anxiety significant enough to stop them from scheduling and attending regular dental appointments, contributing to poor dental health. Multiple studies have shown that people with dental anxiety have more instances of decayed teeth. If you want to prioritize your oral health but avoid the dentist because of dental anxiety, then dental sedation might be right for you.

Dental sedation refers to using medication to induce deep relaxation or semi-consciousness for dental procedures. Most dental sedation does not put the patient to sleep. Minimal, moderate, and deep sedation options offer a continuum of sedative effects. Patients remain conscious during these sedation options.

Significant dental procedures like removing impacted wisdom teeth require general anesthesia, which puts a patient to sleep.

Caputo Dental offers multiple sedation options for stress-free dental procedures. The type of procedure, along with your health history and level of dental anxiety, determine the sedation method. Inhalation, intravenous, and oral sedation options are available. Talk with a dentist about which sedation method is right for you.

Build Trust in Your Dentist

One of the top three contributors to dental anxiety is a patient’s evaluation of their current dentist. The better a patient’s evaluation, the lower their level of dental anxiety. Communicate with your dentist about your dental fears, and they can provide some trust-building techniques to reduce anxiety.

  • In-depth explanations. Patients often feel a loss of control and anxiety when they do not know what is happening in their mouths. However, consistent dentist communication can alleviate feelings of anxiety. Ask your dentist to tell you what they are doing during a procedure, so you feel more in control of the situation. Tell your dentist if you prefer not to respond during dental procedures. Your dentist should happily accommodate whatever level of communication and conversation reduces your dental anxiety.
  • Designate a stop signal. Before a dental procedure begins, create a signal that tells your dentist to stop their work. Whether you need to scratch your face or ask a question, an agreed-upon signal is an anxiety-reducing communicative tool. Just knowing that you can easily stop the procedure gives you control and trust in your dentist.
  • Use distraction techniques. For some patients, distraction is the best way to alleviate dental anxiety. Ask your dentist if you can wear earbuds and listen to music during the procedure. This can help drown out handpiece noise and vibrations.

Visit Caputo Dental to Relieve Your Dental Anxiety

Consistent dentist appointments are vital for your oral health and overall health. If dental anxiety stops you from making dental appointments, consider Caputo Dental’s sedation dentistry. Also, talk with your dentist about how you can communicate effectively during dental procedures.

Contact Caputo Dental to make an appointment today. Also, visit our educational blog series to learn more about dental procedures and oral health.

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