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Common Causes of Dental Anxiety

At Advanced Care Dentistry, we know that many people would rather be anywhere but in the dental chair. And, it’s not about preference — dental fear and phobia is a real problem.

You’re not alone if you avoid scheduling dental appointments due to anxiety. More than one third of people report dreading regular dental check-ups, dental work, or other oral care.

When you understand the cause of your anxiety, you’re better able to address it. Of course, it helps us also ease your fears so your visit is more pleasant and less stressful. 

The following common causes of dental anxiety can be managed so you get the preventive and treatment care you need to promote optimal oral health.

Prior traumatic experience

If you had a traumatic dental episode at any point, especially in childhood, it can have a lasting effect on your relationship with dental visits. Invasive dental treatments as a young child, such as teeth extractions or baby root canals, are particularly impactful on people’s future comfort with visiting the dentist.

Children who had a great number of positive dental experiences usually grow up to be adults that have a positive association with the dentist. While we can’t go back and change your past experiences, we will do everything possible at Advanced Care Dentistry to make your visit comfortable, welcoming, and minimally invasive.

Learned behavior

There’s a lot of talk out there — among family and friends or even in the media — about how “unpleasant” a trip to the dentist is. You may casually hear how “awful” it is to visit the dentist and begin to adopt these thoughts as your own reality.

All we can do is prove to you that the dentist’s office is a pleasant place. Give our friendly, welcoming staff a chance.

Concern about your dental health

Maybe you’ve put off your preventive dental visits for a long time and are now worried about what we might find as a result. Or, you’re just uncomfortable with the “judgment” that you think our hygienists and dentists will pass about your oral health care habits. Perhaps you’re having pain and worry that you may need a tooth extracted or other invasive work done.

Rest assured that we just want to help you have the best gum and teeth health possible. It’s never too late to get started or to resume regular dental visits. And, frankly, if you do have extra plaque and tartar build-up because of neglected professional cleanings — it’s better to get it taken care of sooner, rather than later.

Physical reactions and pain

Fear and anxiety regarding the dentist may be rooted in very real unpleasant physical sensations. Some patients can’t get numb enough with local anesthesia so some dental procedures are extremely painful. Other people may fear the shots required to get to the point of numbness, also making certain procedures unbearable.

If you have sensitive teeth or a gag reflex, the dentist’s chair is not a place you want to be.

We can’t change your physicality, but we do offer sedation dentistry to ease anxious thoughts and reduce sensation. 

Sedation dentistry as a solution

At Advanced Care Dentistry, we take your dental fear and anxiety seriously. The last thing we want is for your fear to stand in the way of good oral health.

An effective solution to many causes of anxiety is sedation dentistry. We administer a gas, oral, or intravenous sedation to help you relax and not feel the work being done on your teeth and gums.

Nitrous oxide – or laughing gas – sedation helps you feel happy and relaxed. It’s best when you have mild anxiety about visiting our office. Oral sedation relaxes you so you don’t have as many anxious thoughts in advance of your visit. With oral sedation, you never lose consciousness.

IV sedation helps you dissociate and is good if you suffer from severe dental anxiety and fear. The sedative alters your state of consciousness, so your perceptions of fear and pain are greatly reduced. In most cases, you won’t even remember your visit.

Your dental anxiety is real and we have solutions. Contact the compassionate staff at Advanced Care Dentistry to learn more about how we can help you manage your fear and still get the oral health care you need. 

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