Our dentist, Dr. Rohini Singh, and the team at Clear Creek Family and Cosmetic Dentistry understand that it is not uncommon for people to feel apprehensive and maybe even a little worried about an upcoming dental appointment. There are a number of factors that can contribute to a fear of seeing the dentist. Some of those factors include:
- The sounds and smells associated with the dentist’s office
- Uneasiness about having someone else’s hands in their mouth
- Memories of bad experiences from previous dental visits
- A feeling of loss of control
- Concerns over pain or discomfort
- A feeling of “dental shame” over the condition of one’s smile.
Is There a Difference Between Dental Anxiety and DentalPhobia?
Yes, there is. In the case of dental anxiety, a person may feel uneasy or nervous about a dental visit. They may be concerned about any number of the issues mentioned above, but they usually do not miss or avoid an appointment. By contrast, a person who suffers from a dental phobia will be so frightened of visiting the dentist that they will not visit the dentist at all for any reason. In time, this can lead to severe dental problems such as lost or decayed teeth or gum disease.
What Can Be Done?
What can you do to help relieve your dental anxiety or phobia? The first thing you can do is talk with Dr. Singh or a member of the team. Tell us about your fear or anxiety, and there are some steps we can take together to help make your visit less stressful. For example, it may help to talk through your treatment with us before it starts. We can also explain what is happening as your appointment progresses. You may find that you need to take a break, and it may help if we work out a signal with you so we can pause if you begin to feel overwhelmed while you are in the chair. It may help for you to keep yourself distracted. Earbuds or headphones and your favorite music or books on tape may help take your mind off your treatment and even make the time go faster. You may also try relaxation or visualization techniques or even deep breathing. Depending on your level of anxiety or the severity of your phobia, you may even benefit from counseling.
Dr. Singh may also suggest the following types of sedation dentistry:
Our dentist will inject a sedative directly into your bloodstream. You will remain conscious but feel very relaxed. Our team will monitor you during your visit, and you will need someone to drive you home.
Also known as laughing gas, our dentist uses nitrous oxide to help patients relax. The effect is temporary and wears off quickly. Your will remain conscious but will enjoy a feeling of euphoria.
This method involves taking a sedative in tablet or liquid firm before your appointment. The sedative is prescribed by our dentist, and it is recommended that you have someone drive you to and from your visit.
If you are concerned about dental anxiety or phobia in Killeen, Texas, call our office at 254-200-1893 to talk with a member of our team.