Did you know that dental anxiety is actually incredibly common in the United States? In fact, 9-15% of Americans avoid visiting the dentist entirely as a result of these fears. We’ve learned that a fear of the dentist can have many root causes, including the following:
- Embarrassment about the condition of teeth
- Fear of loss of control
- Concern about your gag reflex
- Fear of pain or injections
- Fearing the loss of control
- Fear of anesthetics not functioning properly
- Anxiety from the sound of drills
Unfortunately, these fears can be quite debilitating for some and even cause severe emotional distress. Thankfully, advancements in modern technology have been able to create a less stressful experience for those with dental anxiety. Now, noisy drills have been replaced with stress-free laser beams, and painful procedures have been made painless by modern anesthetics. Even so, dental anxiety can still cause many Americans to suffer from serious oral health issues including gum disease, tooth decay, and more.
At Caputo Dental, we strive to create a stress-free environment to help those who struggle with dental anxiety. To make your visit as easy as possible, we recommend trying the following techniques.
- 1. Let us know! By discussing your fears with your dentist, we can adjust your treatment accordingly and ensure we communicate as much as possible throughout the appointment.
- 2. Bring music. Music can help to drown out any sounds of drills that might otherwise make you feel anxious. Feel free to bring headphones to listen to music or other entertainment while you’re in the chair.
- 3. Decide on a signal. Before your dentist begins the appointment, you can discuss a signal—such as raising your hand— that you can use to have him or her stop their treatment and give you a break. This will allow you to feel more in control of the appointment, and ease any fear that the dentist may not stop if you’re in pain.
- 4. Bring a mirror. If seeing what is taking place during your appointment will ease your anxiety, feel free to bring a mirror. Just make sure to discuss this with your dentist beforehand so you can ensure it does not block their view during the appointment.
- 5. Discuss sedation. If you suffer from crippling dental anxiety, sedatives like nitrous oxide (or “laughing gas”) can help. Your dentist can discuss your options and help determine which is the best for you.
To learn more about how Caputo Dental can help you conquer your fear of the dentist, call our Naperville office today!