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Dental Anxiety and Fear

The unreasonable fear of dental appointments can be a common cause of anxiety.  The staff at the practice will do whatever they can to reduce anxiety, fears and provide painless and quick dental treatments.

There is a wide range of anesthetics available to eliminate pain and reduce anxiety during routine appointments.

Here are some of the most common dental fears:

  • Fear of embarrassment about the condition of teeth.
  • Fear of gagging.
  • Fear of injections.
  • Fear of loss of control.
  • Fear of not becoming numb when injected with anesthetic.
  • Fear of pain.
  • Fear of the hand piece (the drill).

How can one overcome dental anxiety?

Dental anxiety and fear can become completely overwhelming for the individual.  There is a large number of people not visiting the dental office because of the fear. Having regular routine dental exams is the easiest way to maintain excellent oral hygiene and reduce the need for more complex treatments.

Here are some advice to help reduce dental fear and anxiety:

Talk to the dentist – Even though it can be hard to talk about irrational fears with a stranger, the dentist can take extra precautions during visits if fears and anxiety are communicated.

Bring a portable music player – Music acts as a relaxant and also drowns out any fear-producing noises.

Agree on a signal – Agree with your dentist on a “stop” hand signal.

Spray the throat – Throat sprays (for example, Vicks® Chloraseptic® Throat Spray) can actually control the gag reflex.

Sedation – If there is no other way to cope, sedation offers an excellent option for many people.

Ask about alternatives – Discuss all the available options with the dentist and decide on one that is effective and produces minimal anxiety for you.

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