Braving the Chair: Understanding and Conquering Dental Anxiety

October 13, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — tntadmin @ 9:19 pm
A girl in a dentist’s chair suffering from dental anxiety

It’s a strange phenomenon—being anxious to go to the dentist. After all, dentists are very kind people who have made their careers by helping their patients. Still, many people across the world suffer from dental anxiety and rely on sedation dentistry to see them through their appointments. So, why do people not go to the dentist even if they should?

Continue reading to learn how dental anxiety often forms and what you can do to help ease your mind.

1. Past Experiences

Human beings typically have very good and long memories. Some people can retain traumatic feelings without recalling memories that trigger them. These past experiences can continue to shape thoughts and feelings long after they’ve happened. If you had a bad experience with a dentist before, you may still harbor those bad feelings.

2. Guilt or Shame

For some patients, it’s their current situation that prevents them from getting into the dentist’s chair. They may have severe decay, broken teeth, gum disease, or other problems that come with oral hygiene neglect.

This can fill them with feelings of shame, even if the condition of their teeth isn’t entirely their fault.

3. Budgetary Concerns

The biggest cause of anxiety across all age groups in the US is cost. Patients can feel very confident about their treatment, but when it comes time to pay, fear sets in. This can be due to budgetary constraints, lack of insurance, or any number of money factors.

Those who feel they can’t afford it often choose to delay or forgo treatment altogether. This can not only hurt their dental health but also turn their attitude toward dentist offices sour.

How Can I Conquer My Dental Anxiety?

There are several ways to counter dental anxiety depending on where it stems from. This should be the first step, finding the source of your anxiety. After that, try one of these strategies:

Immersion Therapy

This is a technique that some patients use to get over their anxiety. By slowly reintroducing themselves back into the office. Start by going into the waiting room. Once you’re feeling brave enough, set an appointment. Then slowly work your way into the dentist’s chair—even if it takes a few visits to work up the courage.

Sedation Dentistry

Your dentist can offer you some form of sedation to make you more relaxed. This could be nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or oral conscious sedation that comes in the form of a pill. Both methods will relax your body and mind, allowing you to receive treatment.

Budget and Prepare Ahead

Set aside funds for your treatment from every paycheck and get your insurance information together before your appointment. Having everything organized and set up for use will make the concept of paying much easier.

Knowing what to look for and using these strategies are big steps on the path to overcoming your fear of the dentist. It bears repeating that your dentist is a kind person and only wants good things for you. Communicate with them. They’ll be more than happy to help you overcome your dental anxiety so you can smile again.

About the Practice

At Comal Dental, Dr. Haag and Dr. Hansen are your talented and friendly dental team. They work together to solve all your dental issues, sharing their expertise to come up with customized treatments that fit your needs. They offer a relaxing environment and are fully equipped to provide sedation dentistry. To schedule an appointment, call (830) 625-1515 or visit the website to learn more.

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