Dental anxiety can be very detrimental to your oral health. It prevents you from seeking the care you need to maintain good oral health. Dental anxiety can prevent you from getting the dental treatments you need to maintain your oral health.

Dental Phobia

A dental phobia is the fear of going to the dentist and can include any aspect of dentistry, even routine checkups, and cleanings. People who experience such fear will usually avoid visiting a dentist at all costs. They will often go to great lengths to avoid seeing their dentist for necessary treatment.

A majority of the time, this fear is caused by a negative past experience at the dentist or from someone they know who had a bad experience at the dentist. Some patients also experienced a traumatic event as a child that made them fearful of going to the dentist. This can also be the result of a life event that left the patient feeling vulnerable and insecure about their teeth and their oral health overall. It is generally unnecessary for patients to fear visiting the dentist, but circumstances such as a previous bad experience can cause them to do so.

A strong gag reflex is not uncommon among patients who go to the dentist. However, if a patient has a very sensitive gag reflex, it can be extremely distressing and difficult for their dentist to perform any sort of dental care on them. Thankfully, there are special ways to handle patients who have such sensitive gag reflexes so that they can receive the care they need without experiencing undue anxiety or discomfort. An oral sedative can be given to these patients so that their gag reflex remains diminished throughout their appointment. This can be extremely helpful when treating patients who are anxious, nervous, or fearful about their dental visit. If a patient is experiencing an intense gag reflex, they are most likely suffering from some level of dental anxiety and can benefit from sedation during their procedure to reduce their anxiety and the severity of their gag reflex.

The Consequences of Avoiding Dental Care

Avoidance of dental treatments can have negative consequences. For example, untreated cavities spread and affect surrounding teeth. When gum disease goes untreated, it can lead to tooth loss and other serious health problems such as heart disease or diabetes. In addition, avoidance can lead to costly restorative care. Filling a tooth can be much less expensive than placing a crown on a damaged tooth. By putting off needed work, you are increasing the overall cost of treatment.

4 Tips To Reduce Anxiety And Fear of The Dentist

If you suffer from anxiety or fear over visiting your dentist, you’re not alone. Many people feel nervous and anxious about their dental care appointments, but there are some things you can do to better prepare for your visits. These easy tips can help you feel calmer before your appointment and improve your overall experience.

  • Choose The Right Dentist And Clinic For You.

No matter your level of anxiety, it’s important to find a dentist who you trust and feel comfortable with. Your dentist should be someone you look forward to seeing every six months. A great way to find a good fit is to ask for recommendations from family and friends or to read reviews online. Before choosing a dentist, check for things like the dentist’s certification and education as well as his or her commitment to continuing education. If you’re looking for a new dentist, take some time to meet with him or her a few times and make sure that you feel comfortable.

It’s also important to choose a dental office where you feel at ease and where you have a minimal wait time. Many dentists offer early morning appointments, so you don’t have to worry about missing school or work for a cleaning or checkup.

  • Talk About Your Fears With Your Dentist.

You know you’re anxious about going to the dentist, but are you honest about it? Many patients don’t feel comfortable telling their dentist about their fears or anxiety. However, it’s important to let your dentist know how you feel because they can help you overcome your fear. In fact, an open line of communication can help your dentist provide better care.

  • Bring A Distraction

If you just can’t stay calm when visiting the dentist, bring something with you that helps you to relax while you’re waiting. This could be a book, music, a stress ball, or anything else that you enjoy that has a relaxing effect when you’re feeling anxious. This works for many patients because it helps distract them from the pain they’re feeling. Choose something soothing and relaxing to listen to rather than music that makes you feel tenser. Bringing a familiar item just makes it more comfortable for you to wait at the dentist’s office.

  • Ask About Sedation Dentistry

If you have severe anxiety or fear over visiting the dentist, sedation dentistry might be right for you. When you opt for sedation dentistry, you’ll take a pill either the night before or early in the morning on the day of your appointment to help you remain calm and relaxed throughout your entire visit.

To learn more, contact our dentist in Federal Way, WA, at Marine Hills Dentistry by calling (253) 839-2800 or visiting us at 1500 S Dash Point Rd, Federal Way, WA, 98003.

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