A General Dentist Talks About Dental Phobia

A General Dentist Talks About Dental Phobia from Midtown Dental - The Gallery of Smiles in Houston, TXFor patients who have been avoiding seeing a general dentist because of fear or apprehension, it may be helpful to know that they are not alone. A 2015 study published in Dental Research Journal found that 58.8% of dental patients surveyed experienced dental anxiety. For patients with severe dental phobia, there are several steps they can take to ensure a better, more relaxed experience at the dentist.

Anxiety-calming techniques

Dental anxiety and phobias can often feel crippling. If a patient is extremely anxious before seeing a general dentist, these techniques may be helpful for getting through an appointment.

Reach out beforehand

For patients with dental anxiety or dental phobia, it is a good idea to reach out to a general dentist before an appointment in order to explain their issues. Anxiety and even phobias around dental work is a familiar phenomenon to many dentists, and most can adjust their treatment plan with a patient's anxiety in mind. A dentist will often take extra care when explaining procedures to highly anxious patients, and they can also take breaks to check in and make sure the patient is not becoming overwhelmed.

Remember to breathe

This suggestion may sound obvious. In many cases, people who are anxious or acutely stressed will hold their breath or only take shallow breaths. When this happens, the brain receives less oxygen, causing even more anxiety. For patients who dread going to the dentist, just reminding themselves to take slow, deep breaths throughout the appointment may be helpful. Doing a few simple breathing exercises immediately before the visit will also help promote relaxation.

Focus on something else

Some dental offices have skylights or colorful ceiling tiles designed to give patients something pleasant to look at. If a patient's general dentist does not have an office like this, it may be wise to ask about listening to relaxing music through earbuds. If music is not an option, choosing something to focus on, such as an interesting-looking item on a countertop, can help take some of the focus off of the dental procedure itself.

Approaches for advanced phobias

Sometimes dental phobia is severe enough that regular anxiety management techniques will not work. For these patients, anti-anxiety medications, talk therapy or a combination of both may be needed. In some cases, either the general dentist or a primary care doctor may be able to prescribe a single dose of anti-anxiety medication. This medication is taken shortly before the dental appointment, and it helps the patient feel calmer without causing sedation.

For very severe dental phobias, talking with a qualified counselor or therapist can be helpful. Mental health professionals can help patients process their fears. Talk therapy may not immediately resolve the issue, but it can lessen the phobia over time.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: General Dentist in Houston, TX.

Conclusion

Dental anxiety and phobias can make a routine visit to the general dentist feel like a terrifying situation. However, with anxiety-management techniques and the help of medical professionals, anxious patients can calmly and confidently navigate their next dental appointment.

Request an appointment or call Midtown Dental - The Gallery of Smiles at 713-979-4127 for an appointment in our Houston office.

Recent Posts

How Regular Visits To A General Dentist Can Keep Your Teeth Healthy

Your general dentist can help you achieve optimal dental health. Routine dental checks can even improve the way you care for your teeth. Busy schedules tend to prevent you from keeping your dental appointments. Making time for dental checks can help your teeth in many ways. If you want to know how routine dental visits…

Are There Different Types Of Toothaches?

Dentists recognize many types of toothaches. Each tooth pain carries a different intensity and meaning, and each type is caused by a different dental issue. You may not know what kind of ache you have right now. Understanding it, and getting in touch with a licensed dentist to alleviate your pain, are important steps in…

General Dentist Procedures For Fixing Chipped Teeth

Thinking about choosing a general dentist to fix one or more chips in the teeth? One of the reasons why people are deciding to see general dentists is because they are very versatile dental professionals. This means they can offer both general and cosmetic dental services, even as it relates to chipped teeth. Examples of procedures…

Recent Posts

Signs You Need A TMJ Dentist

5 Signs You Need A TMJ Dentist

A TMJ dentist is a dental professional who focuses on managing and treating the temporomandibular joint disorder. Typically, this type of dentist is one who undergoes general dentistry education and training, but they continue their studies about the temporomandibular joint and how it can negatively impact one's oral health.TMJ disorder refers to the dysfunction that…

Cosmetic Dental Services For Uneven Teeth

Cosmetic Dental Services For Uneven Teeth

If you suffer from uneven teeth, cosmetic dental services can help straighten your bite and improve your confidence in your smile. Straight teeth improve more than just appearance; they can also improve overall dental health as pieces of food get stuck more easily between crooked teeth. In addition, straight teeth are easier to clean with…

American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry logo
American Dental Association logo
Acadaemy of General Dentistry logo
clearcorrect logo
International Association for Orthodontics logo
International Congress of Oral Implantologists logo
LVI Global logo
Top Doctor Logo
American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry logo
American Dental Association logo
Acadaemy of General Dentistry logo
Top Doctor Logo
clearcorrect logo
International Association for Orthodontics logo
International Congress of Oral Implantologists logo
LVI Global logo