Anxious about your dental visits? What you can do to relax.
What is the number one thing you can do to alleviate dental anxiety? Communicate your feelings with your dentist and the dental team. The key to coping with dental anxiety is to discuss your fears with your dentist. Once your dentist knows what your fears are they will be able to determine the best way to help reduce your anxiety and make you more comfortable.
What causes dental anxiety?
There are many reasons people have dental anxiety. Common fears include:
Fear of pain. Fear of pain is very common in avoiding the dentist. This fear may stem from previous dental experiences that were unpleasant. There have been many advances in dentistry to reduce discomfort. Most procedures in today’s modern dental office are pain free or considerably less painful.
Fear of injections. Many people are terrified of needles. With many people the fear is even more so related to the mouth. Other fear includes fear that anesthesia won’t work or hasn’t taken effect. Many advancements have been made in techniques and new devices to reduce fear and comfort during injections.
Feelings of embarrassment, helplessness and loss of control. It is common to feel these emotions. Many people feel uncomfortable with invasion of personal space. Others may feel self conscious about their appearance during and after the procedure. If the dentist understands this fear there are many ways they can relieve this fear and reduce anxiety.
Tips for dealing with anxiety.
Relax before your visit. It’s easy to say but challenging to do. There are many techniques to help you relax and take your mind off your fear and reduce anxiety. Simple things like a good night’s sleep and staying occupied with your normal daily routine can help.
Breathe. It’s normal to hold your breath when you feel anxious. Instead try to relax and breath slowly, taking deep relaxing breaths.
Close your eyes. Closing your eyes will help avoid distraction or seeing dental equipment that can increase your anxiety and make you more fearful.
Listen to music. Music, audio books and relaxation programs can help take your mind away from what is going on.
Reduce your tension and let go. Clenching your hands and your feet won’t ease tension. Try to relax the muscles in your body. Be conscious of your body posture and tense muscles and let go. Concentrate on experience s that are pleasant.
Take someone with you. Have a friend or family member come with you to your appointment. They can help you relax and be there for support.
Get Sedated. If you still are anxious discuss different forms of sedation or relaxation medication with your dentist. Sometimes some mild anti-anxiety medication may be all you need to relax during a procedure.
Rest assured the dental team at Drs. Lerner and Lemongello’s office is available to ensure your comfort and safety and are available to answer any of your concerns. So whether it is for a dental check up, a simple tooth restoration, a smile makeover, dental implants, or complete mouth restorations our team is ready to help you achieve the smile you deserve and the dental heath you want.
Get the beautiful smile you have always dreamed of, make an appointment today! Contact Drs. Lerner and Lemongello for an appointment and information on all dental procedures at 561-627-9000. Visit our website at www.lernerlemongello.com and view our “Smile Gallery” for examples of some of South Florida’s most beautiful smiles.
Drs. Lerner and Lemongello also proudly serve Stuart, Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, Wellington, Palm Beach, Boca Raton
It is not uncommon for us to recommend replacement of aging dentistry to improve the health and smiles of our patients. Dentistry, like anything else, eventually wears out. However, our patients often seem reluctant to have their aging dentistry replaced. Initially it was confusing to see such a response when it was apparent to the patient that the recommendation was understood and the need for replacement was apparent. What was more difficult to understand was why patients were reluctant to proceed with the necessary treatment. When asked “why would you not move forward with treatment”often the response was a reluctance due to a fear of the unknown. What would we find underneath that old dentistry? How will the old dentistry possibly be removed without creating further injury to the healthy tooth underneath? Once this fear was recognized it was easily addressed. With today’s technology, removal of existing failing dentistry is fast, effortless and will not cause additional harm to the underlying tooth. Think of it in terms of the old dentistry being a covering over the tooth, some form of “Laminate”. Using a Formica kitchen counter top as as example: once a small slice is made through the Formica surface the remaining Formica laminate covering is easily “peeled back” exposing the underlying wood without causing any damage. Old dentistry is no different. Once a slice is made through the old dentistry it is easily peeled off without damaging the underlying tooth. In a previous post we discussed the three main reasons why patients postpone needed dentistry. They are money, time and fear. Once all three of these are addressed needed dentistry can be accomplished. Hopefully now this common fear has been addressed. Communication is the key and our staff is here to ensure your questions are answered. Our goal is to provide state of the art dentistry in a comfortable atmosphere and any obstacles to optimal dental health are adressed.
There are generally three things that hold a person back from a new smile. They are: Fear, Time and Money. All of these can be overcome. FEAR: In today’s state of the art dental industry there are many ways to reduce anxiety. Today’s anti-anxiety medications are very safe and easily used. Truly painless anesthesia techniques are available and used every day with great success. Soothing music, massage pillows, aromatherapy, iPods with headphones, and 3D movie glasses are all ways to relax patients during treatment and help them overcome the trepidation often associated with dental treatment. TIME: Nothing is left to chance in our dental office. Everything is pre-planned down to the finest detail prior to a patient’s appointment. Utilizing the most up to date techniques and state of the art equipment provides for extreme efficiency. It is not uncommon to restore a person’s entire mouth in a mere two visits which, in many cases, takes as little as two weeks. Time is thus no longer a factor. MONEY: Many patients believe this to be their primary obstacle. Everyone knows people invest in all aspects of their lives – they buy new cars, take vacations and enjoy many of life’s luxuries with the flexibility of paying over time. What people do not know is that these same payment options are now available in the dental industry and can fit any patient’s budget. Money would no longer hold patients back from getting dental work if people simply shifted their thinking to invest in themselves first. The way we see it, a car sits in the garage and jewelry sits at home, but your smile is with you everywhere you go. You wear your smile all day, everyday – it should be your best accessory.