You have a dental appointment early tomorrow morning…and you can’t sleep. You toss and turn in bed, you feel tense and can’t seem to relax, you start sweating, your heart starts pounding, and you may even start to feel nauseated. Does this sound like you? If so, you’re one of an estimated 80 million Americans that suffer from dental fear. The dental team at our dental office in Austin understands that dental fear is very real and very hard to overcome, but we’re here to try to help.
Top 4 Causes of Dental Fear
Before we launch into some tips that can help ease your fear of the dentist, it’s important to take a look at some of the most common reasons why people have dental fear.
- Loss of Control
- Negative Experience
All of these reasons may keep patients from maintaining regular visits with their dentist in Austin, and that’s concerning.
Regular Visits Are Important
According to the Dental Fears Research Clinic in Seattle, nearly 20% of Americans will only see the dentist when it’s absolutely necessary instead of taking a preventative approach to oral healthcare. While visiting the dentist may be uncomfortable and cause a lot of stress, seeing your dentist bi-annually can really help keep more involved treatments to a minimum and, in turn, lower anxiety typically associated with the dental office.
Overcome Your Fear
When a fear or anxiety is so strong, it may seem as if all hope is lost and you’ll never overcome it. But give yourself some credit. By opening and reading this blog, you’ve already taken the first step to understanding your fear and how to help alleviate it. Below we highlight our guide to overcoming dental fear. We hope it helps you continue to learn more about your fear and gives you some hope.
- Talk with friends and family to get a list of potential dentists. Then pick up the phone and call them. Notice the feeling you have on the call and how your concerns are addressed before you even step into a dental office.
- Take your pick of all the offices you spoke with and call them back to schedule a new patient appointment. Remember to be open and honest on that call about your dental fear so the team is prepared at your visit.
- Bring a friend or family member to that first dental appointment, preferably one without a dental fear. Just knowing you have a trusted person with you can really help you relax and feel comfortable.
- Distract yourself by bringing some music and headphones or talk with your dental team about any amenities they may have to help ease stress such as blankets, sunglasses, or noise cancelling headphone.
- Always be honest with your Austin dentist and dental team. Dental professionals are committed to both your health and overall comfort and they should be willing to help you relax so you can get the best care.
If you’d like to come into our Austin dental office for a visit, we welcome you to give us a call. We’re always happy to see new patients and are dedicated to providing gentle dentistry in a relaxing and calm environment.