For many people, young and old, going to the dentist isn’t fun at all. Seeing as how you made your way to this blog, the odds are high that either you or someone close to you struggles with dental fear or dental anxiety. Whether you are reading this to help yourself, a loved one, or your interests are purely academic, we at Anthem Pediatric Dentistry are here to provide you with practical tips to help people overcome their fear of going to the dentist.
Let’s dive in!
Did you know that 5-8% of Americans are so afraid of the dentist that they completely avoid going altogether? More glaring than that, approximately three out of every four adults in the United States experience some degree of anxiety or fear related to visiting a dentist. Around 10% of those three adults have a fear strong enough to be considered a dental phobia.
Clearly, it’s an issue that’s worth addressing, which just so happens to be the reason why we are addressing it. Below you’ll find a few suggestions that might help you alleviate some anxiety or fear — but please don’t confuse this blog with advice from a professional mental health professional.
We are pediatric dental experts and have certainly seen a thing or two when it comes to our patients experiencing anxiety, but understand that no one has the exact same experience when visiting the dentist.
For our part at our Las Vegas dental clinic, we do our very best to make sure our patients are comfortable during their entire stay. We do this in very specific, intentional ways…but more on that later. Let’s offer up a few generalized (and generally effective) tips for getting over dental anxiety!
Accept It’s A Problem
One of the best ways to start on your path of improvement is to accept that you have an issue that needs to be dealt with. Perhaps you are like many among us in that you have trouble admitting to yourself about the full extent of what you are experiencing; you find yourself making excuses to yourself and others about why you don’t go to the dentist very often or at all.
You might complain about not being able to find a goo dentist, you don’t have the money, or that you are just too busy. And while you are well within your rights to abstain from going to the dentist, it could very well impact how your children relates to dentists and their oral health (assuming you have children in the first place, of course.
Be Honest With Your Dentist
In the same vein, it’s vital to be honest about your fears…not only with yourself, but also your dentist. At Anthem Pediatric Dentistry, we can’t tell you how much of a difference it makes when our patients (or their parents) inform us that they have an anxiety/fear/phobia issue that we should be aware of. It helps us know that we ought to be extra sensitive about the comfort levels of our patients in terms of how we perform dental treatments, communicate with them, and otherwise.
Most dentists want you to be able to receive the care that you need, and our Las Vegas pediatric dentists are no exception. So please be sure to mention any anxiety issues you or your child might have prior to the appointment. We will listen to you without judgement and will work with parents and patients to make sure we can customize a treatment plan to make everyone comfortable.
Try To Distract Yourself
Whether the patient is a child, teen, or adult, being able to take your mind of the appointment can greatly reduce anxiety. There are a few different ways to do this, so make sure you try out a few of them to find one that works best for you.
- Try imagine a happy place, whether it’s Walt Disney World, your back yard, or playing your favorite video game. Visualize yourself there and think about your favorite parts of being there.
- If you are fidgeting, try to occupy your hands by using a stress ball or a similar device. This might distract your body, and in turn, your mind.
- Ask your dentist if you or your child can wear headphones during the exam. Some people have a particular dislike of the noise the drill makes, and this can be an effective remedy against the grating sound.
Find The Right Dentist For You
Our final piece of advice is one that should apply for everyone, regardless of if you experience anxiety going to the dentist or not. Ask your family, friends, and coworkers for a recommendation. Seek out reviews and testimonials from potential dentists to make sure the advice they give is a generally reflected sentiment.
At Anthem Pediatric Dentistry, we do everything in our power to make parents and children feel comfortable and happy when they walk through our doors. Here are a few reasons to choose our Las Vegas pediatric dental center:
- Parents are always welcome to stay with their children during the entire visit.
- We are happy to answer any and all questions you might have.
- We understand that treating children requires patience!
- There is nothing wrong with a child who has a fear of the dentist. We treat everyone with dignity and respect.
- We will always be honest with you about your child’s dental health so that you understand the best course of action regarding a treatment plan. We have a full suite of treatment options available to use.
- We pride ourselves on being the premier pediatric dental office in the Las Vegas Valley. From our state of the art facilities to our passionate, caring staff, we are the top pediatric dental office in Las Vegas.
Schedule your appointment with us today!