Nearly 75% of Americans experience some form of anxiety about dental visits, and nearly 20% of Americans avoid seeking dental care due to this anxiety. At Westgrove Dental, we work hard to ensure every patient feels welcomed and comfortable during every visit. We have a team of highly trained, compassionate dental professionals who are always willing to go above and beyond to ensure our patients receive individualized care and exceptional service.
There are many reasons why one may feel anxious about visiting the dentist.
- Previous experiences – If you’ve had a bad previous dental experience, especially one that may have resulted in pain or one that happened when you were young, it’s not uncommon to experience some apprehension about future visits.
- Fear passed down – If you’ve listened to friends or family members talk about unpleasant experiences at the dentist, you may be more likely to develop some fear around visiting the dentist, as well.
- Worry about your dental health – If you have put off dental visits, you may now have some fear about the state of your smile that adds another layer of anxiety. We promise we don’t judge our patients – our job is to help you get the smile you deserve, and we want you to feel comfortable visiting us, no matter how long it has been since you have last visited a dentist.
- Fear of pain – Dentists often get a bad wrap for causing painful procedures, but some people do experience pain differently than others and react to physical sensations in different ways. For example, if you have a sensitive gag reflex, sitting in one of our chairs probably isn’t where you want to find yourself. While we can’t change how your body chooses to react, we can help you work with it and can even offer sedation dentistry, if needed.
No matter what causes your anxiety, we promise to be here every step of the way. We know that dental anxiety and fear can sometimes feel overwhelming, but we’re here to help. We offer some tips to help our patients overcome their anxiety:
- Talk to us – let us know your fears and we will work hard to take extra care to talk you through every procedure and ensure you always feel as comfortable as possible.
- Don’t forget to breathe – some patients find practicing controlled breathing can help them during office visits and procedures.
- Turn up the tunes – many patients find immersing themselves in their favorite music can help keep their minds off of what is happening in their mouths. Bring along some headphones and listen to your favorite artist, book or podcast during your visit.
- Ask for a break – We are happy to take breaks to allow you to refocus and re-center.
- Ask us if sedation may be an option – using an option like nitrous oxide can help calm you, allowing us to do the work needed.
How can sedation dentistry help?
Sedation dentistry allows you to feel relaxed and as comfortable as possible during a visit to our office so that you can ensure your smile is as healthy as possible. We have different degrees of sedation dentistry available. Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, will help you feel happy and relaxed and is ideal for patients with mild anxiety. For those with more severe anxiety, we can use IV sedation.
We know that dental anxiety is very real, but we strive to ensure every patient feels as comfortable and relaxed as possible.