Most people recognize that routine dental care is valuable to health and wellness. Still, it is estimated that approximately 40 million Americans avoid seeing their dentist due to unsettling feelings of anxiety. Are you one of them?
If you would describe dental visits as generally unpleasant, or you find that you put off those exams and cleanings, you’re not alone. Also, you may have the good reason for feeling the way you do. At Morris County Dental Associates, it is important that patients feel understood. We do not turn a blind eye to the fact that a large percentage of people are fearful when it comes to dental care. Instead, we do what we can to empower each of our patients with the tools they need to manage dental anxiety, and thus, their oral health and wellness.
A few steps you may take to make your next dental visit more pleasant include:
- Have a sit-down. Talk to your dentist about your attitude toward care. We promise not to take this personally! Having a conversation with your dentist about anxiety and fear need not be involved or lengthy, but it does need to be straightforward. The chat that you have could make an enormous difference in the care you receive, and how you feel about it.
- Develop a plan. One of the common aspects of dental care that can create discomfort is the sense that you cannot communicate with your dentist during exams or treatments. You can. Hand gestures can alert us that you are feeling anxious or uncomfortable, and let us know to back off for a moment. Sometimes, a little break is all it takes to reset the tone of the appointment.
- Anxiety is a physiological response in which a perception of fear creates certain physical reactions. Shallow breathing or even holding the breath is one of them. Breathing is what oxygenates the brain, and this oxygenation is vital to an optimally functional nervous system. So, take deep breaths as needed to reduce fear.
- Tune in. Music can be one of the best therapies for fear and anxiety. In the dental setting, music is especially useful for drowning out the sounds that may heighten nervous responsiveness.
Patients of our Succasunna dental office may also benefit from our sedation dentistry services. Learn more about how we can help you manage dental anxiety when you call 973-328-1225.