Anxiety About the Dentist? You’re Not Alone

Studies indicate that between 10 and 25% of adults avoid visiting the dentist because of anxiety.  There are different sources of this anxiety:

  • Bad previous experiences
  • Claustrophobia
  • Fear of injections (Trypanophobia)

If you avoid having regular exams or cleanings because of anxiety for any of these reasons, consider these ideas for working through your nervousness:

  • Visit the dental clinic without having a cleaning or exam so that you can have a look around, meet the receptionist, the dental hygienist, and the dentist.  Discuss your anxiety with the dentist without the pressure of having an exam the same day.
  • Book a morning appointment so you don’t have time to work yourself up about the appointment during the day.
  • Before the cleaning or exam start, agree on a hand signal that you can use to signal you need a break to rinse your mouth or catch your breath.
  • Bring headphones and music that you know relaxes you on your ipod or phone, music can be very helpful in calming the mind.
  • If the anxiety is severe, talk to your regular doctor about prescribing an anti-anxiety medication that you can take before appointments.

Oral health has many implications for your overall health.  Don’t let anxiety stop you from having regular dental check-ups!

Here at Vacendak Dentistry we have a lot of experience helping people work through their anxiety about receiving dental treatment.   If you have questions or concerns about having an exam or cleaning, give us a call, we’d be happy to talk about your options.