Dental Anxiety & Fear of Dentists Q&A
If you are scared of visiting a dentist and have had any past bad experiences, contact NuSmile Dental & Orthodontics to overcome your fears. Dr. Lawrence Wu and his team of professionals are very kind and will help you feel better. We are conveniently located at 1319 Blossom Hill Rd, San Jose, CA 95118. For more information, please contact us or schedule an appointment online.
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Fear of the dentist can come from many causes. The possible causes of being afraid of the dentist are:
• You may be more likely to have a fear of the dentist if you have a person in your family that has anxiety or phobic disorder. There is also the possibility that there can be a gene mutation that causes anxiety.
• There is the fear of being embarrassed. A dentist or hygienist works very close to you and reaches into your mouth. This is often considered to be an invasion of personal space. You may also have feelings of embarrassment due to the smell of your breath or how you have cared for your mouth.
• Feelings of helplessness while lying in a chair are common. Having your mouth open for long periods of time can also make you feel as if you have no control.
• Fear can come from hearing others talk about their own fear of the dentist.
• Previous negative experiences are a problem for many people. If you had a traumatic experience at the dentist in the past that caused pain or complications, you may develop a fear of the next visit.
• A history of abuse or trauma can cause fear, especially if you feel a loss of control at the dentist.
If you have a fear of your dentist, it is a good idea to talk to them about it. If they know what you are dealing with, they can begin to put things in place to make your visit less stressful.
Sometimes, having the procedure explained by your dentist will reduce stress because you will know what will be happening.
Your dentist can allow you to have some time in the dental chair before the procedure begins so that you can try to relax and become more comfortable in that environment.
People who are afraid of pain often fear the dentist. Your dentist can use different forms of anesthesia to reduce the pain. Topical anesthesia can be used before a needle is inserted. Local anesthesia will numb the pain for longer and work on the area being treated.
Your dentist may choose to prescribe anti-anxiety medications if your fear is mild to moderately severe. These can be taken about an hour before your appointment to help you relax. In very severe cases, general anesthesia may be used to put you in a deep sleep, which will allow for the dental procedure to go forward.
You may not be able to get over your fear of the dentist, but you can do things to reduce stress and anxiety.
• You may want to visit the dentist at a time of the day that isn’t so busy. Fewer people in the office and a few noises from the tools can make it less stressful. If you visit in the morning, you may have less time to become anxious.
• Bring noise-canceling headphones with music to cover the noise and help you to relax.
• Ask someone you know to go with you to your appointment. Having support helps to ease the anxiety.
• Practice forms of meditation or deep breathing to help calm yourself before you go.
You can also ask your dentist for a break during the appointment if your anxiety is getting too high.
Fear of the dentist is one of the more common types of anxiety in America. It is estimated that more than 1/3 of Americans are afraid to go to the dentist. As many as 12% of Americans may have a fear of the dentist that is considered to be extreme.
NuSmile Dental & Orthodontics has a team of dental professionals that provide high-quality dental care. The friendly staff can help reduce your fear and provide the care you need. We are conveniently located at 1319 Blossom Hill Rd, San Jose, CA 95118. For more information, please contact us or schedule an appointment online. We serve patients from San Jose CA, Los Gatos CA, Campbell CA, Santa Clara CA, Cupertino CA, Sunnyvale CA, Saratoga CA, and Mountain View CA.