January 21, 2023

Blood, pain, needles, the unknown, and the lack of control are some of the things that make visits to the dental office in Glen, IL, so difficult. If you dread going to the dentist, you are not alone. Dental visits can stir up uncomfortable emotions like fear, anxiety, tension, and nervousness.  

Most people cancel appointments, so they don’t have to deal with them. Unfortunately, missing dental appointments can be detrimental to your oral health. If you neglect regular dental checkups, cleanings, and treatments, you’re putting yourself at risk of oral problems. Is there a way to overcome dental fear?

A dentist and his patient in a dental office in Glen, IL smiling to the camera

Learning to Enjoy Dental Visits 101

What Makes People Scared of the Dentist?

There has been an increase in dental appointment cancellations making dental fear an interesting area of research. Fear of the dentist is typically associated with needles, pain, and unpleasant past experiences. In one study, it was discovered that 71% of respondents described dental visits as painful, 23% said it was frightening, and 9% considered the experience embarrassing. Dental anxiety was at least 22.4 times more common among those who expressed all three.

Usually, patients become fearful due to past experiences, but in most cases, the cause of their anxiety is hearing stories from family, friends, or social media. While it may seem hopeless, several strategies can help you overcome your anxieties.  

How Can You Make Your Dental Visits Enjoyable?

  • Try online consultations – some dental offices offer online consultations. If you are extremely anxious, you may opt to speak with your dentist over the phone or through an app to develop trust. You become less anxious when you become familiar with your dentist and build a relationship. Open communication also helps alleviate fear.  
  • Relaxation techniques – Did you know you can manage your fear by practicing relaxation techniques? Before your appointment, try stretching your muscles and do meditation or yoga exercises. While waiting for your turn, take deep breaths, and think of memories that can help calm your mind, like your favorite vacation.  
  • Ask questions. Not knowing what to expect can trigger your anxious thoughts. Your mind is a powerful thing. If you feed it with negative thoughts, it will influence how your body will react and respond. One way of overcoming fear is to ask your dentist questions about your condition, treatment plan, and how the procedure will go. The more information you know, the less anxious you become.  
  • Find some distractions. During your consultation, let your dentist know about your anxiety. Almost always, they suggest you bring things that can make you feel comfortable, like a favorite pillow or headphones so you can listen to some music or podcast to keep you distracted.  
  • Dental sedation. If all else fails, you can try dental sedation. Ask your dentist about your options. Typically, you’ll be examined so your dentist can decide what type of sedative to give you. Sedatives help keep you calm and relaxed before, during, and even after the procedure.  
A dentist checking a patient's mouth in a dental office in Glen,IL

Visit Our Dental Office in Glen, IL

We know fear can be powerful, but don’t let it overpower you. At Smalltown Dental, we can help you overcome your dental fears. Our team has years of experience to help make you feel comfortable during your visit. We will answer all your questions and do everything we can to make you feel calm and relaxed. Contact us to schedule an appointment.  

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