Are You Anxious About Dental Visits?

Are You Anxious About Dental Visits?

Posted by John H. Ko, DDS on Nov 11 2021, 06:22 AM

According to studies, around 50-80% of adults have mild to severe dentophobia. Around 15% of them avoid dental care altogether, thereby increasing their risk of oral health issues.

In this article, our dental care experts at John H. Ko, DDS, in Pleasanton, California, share some simple tips to tackle the anxiety you might have in relation to dental procedures.

Why Do You Feel Dental Anxiety?

This common feeling can be described as fear, stress, or uneasiness before or during a dental appointment. 

These feelings are usually due to:

  • History of negative experiences in the dental chair
  • Sensitivity to sounds made by dental equipment
  • Embarrassment about the state of your teeth and fear of being judged
  • Generalized anxiety or trust issues

What Happens When You Avoid Your Dental Checkups?

  • Regular dental checkups and X-rays can help your dentist identify oral problems early with simpler and less-invasive treatments.
  • Avoiding the dentist and not addressing your dental problems results in a ‘vicious cycle of dental anxiety’. Allowing oral diseases to progress may cost you more and increase the need for invasive treatments later on. 
  • This Harvard Medical School study also establishes a connection between untreated gum diseases and coronary health, cancer, arthritis, and lung infections.

How to Combat Dentophobia?

Follow these simple tips to move past your dental anxiety and enjoy good oral health:

  • Discuss Your Fears 

Skilled and experienced dentists understand dental anxiety. They will have the resources to manage your fears and will explain treatments to help you stay relaxed. Asking questions and sharing your concerns will facilitate effective dental treatment.

  • Distract Yourself

Taking your mind off the treatment may seem difficult but it's not impossible. Listen to an audiobook or music, watch television, or use a stress ball. Use guided imagery and imagine yourself in your ‘happy place’.

  • Use Relaxation Techniques

Anxiety can worsen in the waiting room or once you are on the dental chair. Studies have found a positive correlation between practicing mindfulness and being less anxious in the dental chair.

  • Schedule Smartly

See the dentist during less busy hours such as early morning. This is when there will be fewer patients and triggers that could increase your anxiety. This also gives you less time to anticipate and build up stress.

To learn more about dental anxiety and ways to get rid of it, call (925) 847-8790 to schedule your appointment or visit John H. Ko, DDS, at 5720 Stoneridge Mall Rd #200, Pleasanton, CA 94588.

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