If you’ve got dental anxiety, you may be embarrassed by it. But you shouldn’t be!
Dental anxiety is more common than you may realize. In the 2014 book “Behavioral Dentistry,” Daniel W. McNeil, PhD, a professor of psychology and clinical professor of dental practice and rural health at West Virginia University, wrote that almost half of American adults have at least a moderate level of dentistry-related fear. Further, 5 percent to 10 percent of people say this fear leads them to avoid dental care.
At Callow Family Dentistry, we understand dental anxiety. We hope you’ll give us a chance to help you or your family member reduce dental anxiety. Our team has many years of experience in soothing patients. We also offer dental sedation to help calm your jangled nerves.
Call our Plymouth, MI dentist office at 734-404-7336 to talk to us about your dental anxiety. Talking about dental anxiety is a good first step to overcoming it.
3 Common Causes of Dental Anxiety
Though dental anxiety is different from person to person, there are several common dental fears. Here are three of the most common:
- Fear of embarrassment: Dr. Doug Callow and other dentists must get pretty close to you to examine your teeth and for dental treatments. Some people are uncomfortable letting a relative stranger so far into their personal space. This anxiety is compounded if they’re embarrassed about the condition of their teeth.
- Fear of loss of control: Some people are anxious in situations where they feel they have no control over what happens. Flying on an airplane is one such situation. Sitting in the dental chair for an exam or treatment is another.
- Fear of pain: A widely cited Canadian study found that people who had previous painful experiences at the dentist were more likely to experience pain. Unfortunately, a significant number of people have had prior negative experiences. This is especially common in older people whose childhood dental visits happened before advancements in pain-free techniques.
What We Do To Reduce Dental Anxiety
Most important, Dr. Callow and our entire team do everything they can to make you feel more comfortable while at our Plymouth, MI dentist office. Our office atmosphere is more like a home than a hospital. We even have free Wi-Fi access for you in our waiting room. While you’re sitting in our chair, you can enjoy:
- A soft pillow
- A warm blanket
- Headphones to listen to music while we work
Dr. Callow takes the time to explain everything he does. In fact, you can visit our office for a free consultation to discuss your treatment options with him before you ever sit in our chair. This is especially helpful for those who feel uncomfortable about a loss of control.
Sedation Can Help Reduce Dental Anxiety
Dental sedation is also quite helpful for those who are fearful about their treatment. We use nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas,” the most common form of dental sedation. You’ll receive it through a small mask worn over your nose. It gives most people a mildly euphoric feeling.
It’s our preferred method because:
- It is so safe, it can even be given to children.
- It’s been in widespread use for years and has very few side effects.
- We can easily adjust the amount you receive during your treatment.
- It takes effect quickly. Most people feel relaxed within minutes of receiving it.
- Its effects wear off quickly too. You can even drive yourself home after your treatment.
Our caring staff will monitor you throughout your procedure.
5 Tips to Reduce Dental Anxiety
In addition to using dental sedation, here are five other tips you can try to help reduce dental anxiety:
- Talk to us about any procedure that concerns you, whether it is a teeth cleaning or a root canal. Ask as many questions as you’d like. That way, you’ll know exactly what to expect.
- Use a distraction. Try listening to favorite music or an audiobook during dental procedures.
- Bring along a buddy. Having a family member or trusted friend with you for support helps most people feel less anxious.
- Book an appointment at a time when our office isn’t busy. That’s easy to do in our Plymouth, MI dentist office as we offer extended hours. We’re open until 7 p.m. two nights a week, and we even offer Friday and Saturday hours.
- Don’t put off dental treatment. Never postpone seeing us if you think you may have a problem. While you may be a little nervous about getting a tooth filling, your anxiety could worsen if decay becomes bad enough to require a dental crown or root canal.
Ready to talk to us about your dental anxiety? Call Callow Family Dentistry, DDS at 734-404-7336.