As many as 40 million Americans avoid the dentist because of fear and anxiety, according to Columbia University College of Dental Medicine.
So, why the fear of the dentist? People are anxious about dental visits for different reasons. Some anticipate pain. Others worry that the dentist might be rushed or neglect their concerns. Additional stressors include negative memories of past experiences and even the sterile smell of the dental office. Sometimes, simply interrupting the normal day's routine for a dentist visit creates anxiety.
If unaddressed, dental anxiety can lead to oral health problems, which can, in turn, require more dental treatment.
Trust and communication help lower stress
One of the most important factors in overcoming dental anxiety is good communication between you and your dentist. When you feel informed and in control throughout a visit, you’re typically less anxious.
”It’s common for people to feel some level of anxiety when visiting a physician or dentist,“ said Kevin Sheu, DDS, professional services director for Delta Dental. “However, if a patient’s anxiety is preventing access to needed care, the individual should have a frank discussion with the dentist before starting any treatment. As health care professionals, dentists are trained to treat patients who have anxiety. Many safe and comfortable techniques can make dental care less stressful, including the use of medication.”
Tips for staying calm when you visit the dentist
If you’re nervous about an upcoming dental visit, try these ways to curb your anxiety:
Lower on the fear spectrum (but still very real for some) are the anxieties already discussed. Communicate your feelings to your doctor. And try this trick: feel gratitude for your teeth and for your access to good care. Research shows that people who practice gratitude are more optimistic, healthier, get better sleep, and, in turn, experience less anxiety.
To schedule an appointment with us, please call the location nearest you: Conroe - (936) 760-3050, Galveston - (409) 740-7744, Homestead - (713) 633-1922, and Richmond - (281) 238-4454. You can also schedule an appointment at www.texasdental.group.
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1002 N Loop 336 W
Conroe, TX 77301
1500 Jackson St. Suite 200
Richmond, TX 77469
Galveston, TX 77551
Houston, TX 77016