Beating Dental Anxiety: Knowledge Is Power [BLOG]
Fear is a perfectly natural human response to the threat of danger. It’s important to your survival, in fact. But fear becomes a problem when it’s based on an irrational perception or expectation of danger.
Dental anxiety refers to that sense of fear or dread you might experience when going to the dentist. It covers a broad range of fear levels. Two people could both have dental anxiety, but one of them might get through their dental appointment just fine despite feelings of dread, while the next person’s fear keeps them from being able to go to the dentist at all.
At the Oregon Smile Care Center in Salem, OR, we have a team of caring professionals who want to help you overcome your dental anxiety, no matter how minimal or severe it may be for you. We understand how you feel and will do all we can to help ease your mind and create a positive experience for you during your visit with us.
Let’s talk a bit more about what dental anxiety is and how you can take steps to finally overcome it.
What You Should Know About Dental Anxiety
You’re Not Alone
Believe it or not, dental anxiety is quite common. It’s estimated that somewhere between 30-40 million Americans have some level of dental anxiety. So while you might sometimes feel like you’re the only one who dreads going to the dentist, rest assured that you’re certainly not!
Because it’s so common, Dr. Hanson and our staff at Oregon Smile Care Center have plenty of experience in helping patients move past their dental anxiety so they can receive the treatment they need to achieve better oral health. As you can imagine, staying away from the dental office isn’t good for your smile, so it makes sense that we go out of our way to make you feel as comfortable as possible while you’re here.
You Might Fear The Dentist Because….
Usually people fear the dentist for one of these common reasons:
- You think you might be judged for the state of your oral health.
- You think any kind of treatment you receive will be very painful.
- You’re haunted by memories of traumatizing dental appointments from the past.
- You’re afraid of the unknown.
The Level Of Fear Is Different For Everyone
As we mentioned earlier, every anxious patient is going to experience their dental anxiety in a different way. Our concern, though, is when you let your dental anxiety stand in the way to those important routine dental cleanings and exams that should be scheduled at least twice a year. That, along with a good oral hygiene routine at home, are the best ways to protect yourself against tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease.
When you call our Salem dental office to make that appointment, we encourage you to talk to us about your fears and concerns. Keeping an open dialogue with us about your dental anxiety is the best start to letting us help you overcome it.
Ways To Overcome Dental Anxiety
Get To The Bottom Of It
One of the first things you can try is to think about why you’re feeling anxious about going to the dentist. When you can understand the problem, you’re better able to come up with the most effective solutions. Did you have a bad experience at the dentist’s office when you were a kid? Are you really uncomfortable with the smells and sounds of the dental office? Or do you just fear a sense of being out of control not knowing what a procedure or treatment might look like and feel like step by step?
Think about what’s causing your anxiety, and you’ll be one step closer to finding a way to get beyond it.
It Helps To Talk About It
A simple conversation with someone could help you move forward. Talk to a friend, a family member, or trusted colleague about your fears and experiences. It’s best to confide in someone, though, who doesn’t fear the dentist because they might be able to offer some perspective a bit better than someone who will just commiserate with you without being able to give you any helpful tips or advice.
How Oregon Smile Care Center Can Help You
Dr. Hanson and our warm, friendly staff are here and ready to help you overcome your dental anxiety. We have found that the comfort amenities in our beautiful office such as music, TV, and complimentary drinks, along with our longer appointment times and warm staff are usually enough to help ease our patients’ fears and help them feel calm and relaxed. But if you feel you need more help than that, talk to us about it, and we’ll do all we can for you.