DENTAL ANXIETY – YOU’RE NOT ALONE
We know that going to the dentist is not always something one looks forward to. And we are also aware that for many people, statistics show up to 75%, there can be some level of anxiety when thinking about an up-and-coming dental visit. So, if this is you – you are not alone. But, the good news is that Drs. Hochberg and Diora are here to address your concerns and help ensure that you feel comfortable.
Does everyone experience the same feelings?
The answer is no. Just like every person is unique so are phobias and anxieties. Anxieties are usually considered a bit milder, even though they might not feel that way. The patient may feel a sense of apprehension or worry when they make a commitment to an appointment. Or even the call to the dentist’s office might evoke some feeling of unease. Those who experience a more intense sensation of being overwhelmed or having irrational fears are said to be phobic. Unfortunately, oftentimes many who fall into this category neglect to visit the dentist regularly and only seek care when there is an emergency situation. This often becomes counter intuitive as the patient may have easily avoided more invasive and extensive care with routinely scheduled visits.
How we can help:
Communication is the number one tool to make sure that you feel at ease. Letting us know if there is a specific concern – some patients feel unsettled when tilted backwards, some may worry that they will be uncomfortable, some may not understand what is going to take place and the nature of the procedure. Talk to us. Together we can arrange for a visit that best suit your needs and addresses any trepidation you may have.
Distractions are a useful way to take your mind away from treatment. Plan on watching a TV show (some of our patients book a time based on their favorite shows), listening to music (all rooms have headsets) or remind yourself that this is your thinking time. Have a mental project in mind and know that your time in the chair is yours to be calm and work on a solution.
Breathing Techniques are a tool many doctors recommend when a patient is anxious. Read about the ways to relax through breathing and concentrating on the views out the windows.
Discuss break times before your procedure. If sitting in the chair for periods of time sounds difficult, we can take short breaks for you to sit up and take a ‘breather’.
Set signals to let us know to stop. If you sense discomfort, need to say something, feel anxious, let’s set up a hand signal in advance. When you raise your left hand we’ll stop and ask how you’re doing!
Oral Sedation is available. For some patients the above techniques are not sufficient to alleviate fears. For those patients there is nitrous oxide (often called laughing gas), along with prescription medications that are designed to help relieve anxiety so you can relax, fall asleep and proceed with care.
Our goal is to help you achieve the best overall health possible. And excellent oral health is an important part of that plan. Let’s work together to be sure that anxieties and phobias don’t stand in you way. We’ll discuss your needs and develop a plan that puts you at ease.
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