There’s a bit of a negative stigma associated with going to the dentist. About 60% of people feel anxious about making the trip to the dentist while 5-10% of people experience a true dental phobia. Some people may do anything and everything they can to avoid going to the dentist out of fear and anxiety, but why is that?
There may be a reason for the nerves you feel and at Boise Family Dental Care we can help you. Keep reading to learn possible reasons for your anxiety, some tips about what you can do to help reduce anxiety, and what we do to help you feel safe and calm during your visits to our office.
1. Your Feelings and Concern
Prior to and during your dental visit, it helps to share your fears and worries with your dentist and any other members of the dental team you encounter. This begins the moment you call our office. Don’t hesistate to let our staff know you’re nervous about your visit. If you’re anxious and concerned about a specific procedure, such as dental crowns or how painful a root canal might be might be, you and Dr. Crump can talk about your phobias and get your questions answered in a low stress and non-judgemental conversation.
Once the dental team is aware of your anxiety, they can customize your experience at the office and provide you the understanding and accommodations needed to reduce your concerns and make your visit go smoothly.
In 2020, there are many people who have felt worried to visit the dentist because of COVID-19. At our top-rated Boise dental clinic, we are always transparent about infection-control procedures and are more than happy to respond to additional questions you may have.
2. Distraction Techniques to Control Anxiety
The anxiety you feel may be something you can manage with distraction. Some people have found help by bringing their headphones to their visits and zoning out by listening to an audiobook, your favorite music playlist, or the latest episode of the podcasts you subscribe to. Additionally, we also have a television with cable TV in every treatment room and you are welcome to pick a station to watch during your procedure.
Finally, Muscle-relaxing exercises and deep-breathing can relieve physical and mental tension. You can do either while you are in the waiting room or when you are with the dentist in the chair.
3. Build Trust
Sometimes fear is not with the procedure itself, but who is performing it. When you choose a dental practice that is reliable and experienced, you may feel more at ease. The amount of trust you have in your dentist can either increase or decrease your anxiety about your dental visit.
The first step in building a strong dentist-patient relationship is finding a quality clinic you can trust. We suggest researching local Boise dental clinics and the dentists practicing at each one. Next, ask for recommendations from friends and family you know and trust. Finally, look online for reviews of local dental clinics to get a sense of other people’s opinions of the practice. Knowing you’ve taken the time to research your dentist goes a long way in alleviating fears about who you are putting your oral care into the hands of.
Likewise, if you are worried about the cost of a treatment or getting overcharged, we recommend calling around to a few dental clinics you are considering and ask about their price for the type of procedure you anticipate having. Also, you can ask if they take your dental insurance or if they offer any options for people who don’t have dental insurance. After talking with a few different offices you can be confident that you’ll be selecting a dental clinic that is open with prices and fair.
4. Get Moral Support When You Need It
Dental appointments may be less scary if you have someone familiar with you. This can be especially helpful for kids , who often do better when an adult they know is there to encourage them and hold their hand. There is nothing wrong with bringing someone with you to be there for moral support wherever you need it.
5. Take Breaks
You do not have to feel as if you do not have any say in your dental treatment. Dr. Crump makes a point of checking in with patients all along the way of their procedures. If you ever want him to stop or to be aware you are experiencing pain or anxiety, a simple hand gesture is enough to inform him you are in discomfort or in need of a short break. It’s OK to take breaks or ask for a break when you need to.
We will make every effort to make sure your dental visits are as smooth and calm as possible and that you are always in control of how the appointment proceeds.
6. Control What You Can
There are certain things that are in your control that you can do to help with your level of anxiety. For example, you can decide when to make your dental appointment. It can help a lot to select days and times that best fit your schedule. Perhaps you could consider scheduling your appointment on days that are otherwise stress-free and aren’t overcrowded. This way, you do not have to feel as if you are under pressure or in a rush to make it to your appointment on time or to quickly get back to work.
Another thing you can do to control your trips to the dental clinic is to keep up good oral health and routine check-ups. Hopefully, that will mean only a couple of quick visits each year without the need for additional trips to have dental work done.
Finally, you could consider limiting your consumption of items that make you feel hyper or excited, such as the eating of sugary foods and the drinking of caffeine . For many people, these can contribute to a general sense of agitation and anxiety.
7. Opt for Dental Sedation
In the event none of the methods mentioned above help you cope with feelings of fear and dental anxiety, you should ask Dr. Crump about dental sedation. Dr. Crump has the advanced training necessary to offer many levels of sedation ranging from common nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to IV sedation (similar to going to sleep). The good thing is that even mild levels of sedation are able to help those who feel worried.
IV sedation can make even long treatments feel quick as a wink. Typically, these patients do not even have any memory of the procedure at all. Keep in mind that if you do choose sedation you will need another person who can bring you to your appointment and also drive you home afterward.
Have a Low-Stress Experience at Our Boise Dental Office
If you are nervous about the dentist, you may postpone getting a service completed even when you know you need it. If you decide to avoid going to the dentist or stop going to the dentist altogether, you may make your dental problems worse.
It is very important for those with dental anxiety to work with our team of Boise Dental professionals. You can trust them to implement a variety of methods to reduce or eliminate your anxiety. Not only are we experts across a range of general and cosmetic dental services, but we can also help you find ways to remain relaxed during your treatments. Our dentist always uses a gentle approach and, when needed, we offer our patients sedation.
You CAN have a low-stress experience. We invite you book an appointment at our Boise Dental clinic and come meet Dr. Crump and the team.