Are you putting off a trip to the dentist because you suffer from dental anxiety or dental phobia? You’re not alone. Dental anxiety and fear are very common, and it is estimated that between 9-15 percent of Americans avoid going to the dentist out of fear. At Millennium Smiles, we understand dental anxiety and work hard to put our patients at ease.
No one is born hating going to the dentist. Many people develop dental anxiety or dental fear because of a bad experience as an adult or child. Some individuals are also very sensitive to the sounds, smells, and textures of a dental office. Others are just afraid the procedures are going to hurt (no one wants to ever think about a drill or needle coming at them!). Still, others are merely embarrassed at the state of their dental health.
No matter what your reason is for avoiding your checkup, it is important to remember that regular checkups and cleanings are essential because it allows Dr. Korous the opportunity to check the health of your teeth, gums and mouth. In some instances, if caught early, tooth decay and gum disease can be treated and even reversed.
Checkups also give you the chance to have your teeth cleaned thoroughly to remove built-up dental plaque that your brush cannot remove.
Regular visits to the dentist keep your teeth healthy.
1. Let us know. If you know you have dental fear or anxiety, we can be prepared to treat you with these considerations in mind. We will be more than happy to sit and talk about your previous experience, explain what to expect when you come in, and find out anything that we can do to make you more comfortable.
2. Take a tour. Get to know Millennium Smiles, our staff and how we practice by taking a trip to the office for a tour before your appointment. You will find that we practice very modern dentistry, which means gentler treatments in a comfortable environment. Our office is designed to soothe patients, and we feature amenities like snacks, coffee, massage chairs, hot towels and much more to make you feel at home.
3. Get some sleep. Before you come in for your first appointment, get a good night’s sleep. Avoid caffeinated beverages, as they may make you edgier and keep you away.
4. Schedule your appointment early. If you can, schedule your appointment first thing in the morning, so you do not stress out all day worrying about your visit or change your mind about coming in. You can do this!
5. Work out a signal. Talk to Dr. Korous about a signal that she can recognize if you need a break during your cleaning or dental procedure. Most patients simply raise their left hand, signaling Dr. Korous that they need a breather.
6. Speaking of breathing. Practice relaxation techniques of controlled breathing in through the nose and out through the nose. Taking a big breath, holding, and slowly releasing it can also help.
7. Still stressed? Ask about sedation methods. If you’re still having trouble relaxing during your visit, ask Dr. Korous about available sedation methods such as nitrous oxide. We also offers a warm, relaxing environment with music, LED lighting, and warm towel treatment after each treatment.
8. Stay on schedule. We recognize that you may not love going to the dentist, but we strive to make your experience comfortable and pleasant. Scheduling regular appointments can help you become more comfortable with cleanings and procedures.
Do you suffer from dental fear or dental anxiety? We can help. Call us today at 972-987-4899.