Overcoming Dental Anxiety

According to the American Dental Association, in 2014, one in five people in America (21.3%) reported not visiting a dentist in the past few years, while five to eight percent of Americans simply avoid the dentist based on fear or anxiety (ada.org, 2016). In fact, anxiety and fear of the dentist is one of the leading reasons for people not to schedule regular dental appointments. Approximately 20 percent of Americans who experience dental anxiety will endure the pain of a toothache or dental problem until it is absolutely necessary to schedule an appointment. Typically, a bad experience at the dentist’s office is what prompted the lasting dental anxiety. What one patient may not find painful could cause another to feel an extreme amount of anxiety. Also, some may feel fear from the lack of control they have while sitting in the dentist’s chair, which is completely understandable. Sitting in the chair with the dentist above you, looking in your mouth, poking around, and putting you in a position where you cannot respond properly can actually cause a huge amount stress and anxiety even for people who don’t typically feel anxious at the dentist’s office. Fortunately, fear of the dentists and dental procedures can be remedied in several ways.

If you have not seen the dentist in over a year because of fear or extreme anxiety, rest assured that you are not alone and your concerns and fears are completely understood by our staff at Mission Peak Dental Care. We cater to those who feel as you do, and we are here to make your dental appointment as comfortable as possible. Call Mission Peak Dental Care in Fremont/Tracy at (510) 790-0590 / (209) 830-7032 to schedule an appointment today.

Feeling fear and anxiety is a normal human reaction when a person does not feel in control or they venture in an area that they are not familiar, and going to the dentist is no different. At Mission Peak Dental Care, we do everything possible to help our patients feel as comfortable as possible. We have even come up with a few techniques to help you overcome dental anxiety.

  • Bring headphones to listen to music during your dental checkup. Listening to music can be tremendously relaxing to the mind and body, especially slow, quiet classical music. Studies have shown that this kind of music can help sooth physiological functions, slowing the heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and decreasing stress in fearful situations.
  • Breathing techniques. Most of the time, people hold their breath when they are scared or feel anxious, which increases these feelings. Breathing exercises can help you calm your heart rate and allow you to naturally release the stress created by the dentist. Learning breathing techniques before your visit can help you get through your appointment.
  • Open communication. Many times, people feel that they are not understood or that the doctor doesn’t care, so it is important to voice your concerns with the dentist. They will understand your fears and they sincerely want to help, so don’t be afraid to say that something makes you feel scared or uneasy. Communicating your feeling is a step to releasing them.
  • Bring a trusted friend. Having a close friend or close relative next to you can help you stay calm and feel secured as you sit in the dentist’s chair. When a person we trust is talking to us when we are nervous or scared, it has a soothing effect. This is simply a form of distraction.

If you have not seen the dentist in over a year because of fear or extreme anxiety, rest assured that you are not alone and your concerns and fears are completely understood by our staff at Mission Peak Dental Care. We cater to those who feel as you do, and we are here to make your dental appointment as comfortable as possible. Call Mission Peak Dental Care in Fremont/Tracy at (510) 790-0590 / (209) 830-7032 to schedule an appointment today.