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How to Cope With Dental Anxiety

October 23, 2019

Frightened woman at the dentist office.

Let’s face it, the dentist office is not the first place people tend to want to go.  Most dental procedures are not painful but even just examining someone’s teeth can cause a level of anxiety.  Dental fear and dental anxiety is a problem that faces as many as 20% of Americans. Unfortunately the problem often snowballs, the less people go (or never at all) the worse and more serious any potential problems will tend to be.   This is why at Drs. Boyd we take every step to ensure that patients feel comfortable and we take away their anxiety.  Here we will discuss what brings about dental phobia and how we can deal with it!

What Causes Fear of the Dentist?

There are many different reasons that people feel stressed at the dental office.  Some of the reasons are fear of pain, fear of injection or the injection won’t anesthetize the area.  Many people also have a feeling of being helpless and a loss of personal space.  Some people feel embarrassed if they have problems because of the social stigma behind unhealthy teeth.  Regardless of the reason the Drs. Boyd have many ways to manage dental phobias and make for a comfortable, pleasant experience.

Pain is Not Relative

Pain is a huge factor in dental anxiety and not everyone experiences pain the same way.  Some things that seem like nothing to one person can be severe for another.  There are a number of different factors that impact how someone perceives pain. For example, people with red hair have a greater pain experience than people without red hair.  What matters?  If you feel pain, we believe you and we will do what we have to so that you don’t!  The days of the dentist making you suffer through a procedure or saying its not so bad are GONE.

Talk About It!

Bringing dental anxiety out into the open is a great way to alleviate most of your stress.  Even on your first call to our office, bring it up to our team.  It is important to discuss with Dr. Boyd what about dentistry makes you nervous.  This brings the fear out into the open and we can begin to discuss how we will manage it!  Having an open dialog with your dentist will also establish trust.  Something we hold in high regard.

Just Breath

Breathing and relaxation techniques can be an excellent way to relieve stress and anxiety.    Inhale slowly and deep through your nose.  While doing this make sure to keep your muscles relaxed.  Exhale through your mouth slowly while again keeping everything relaxed.  Another trick is to focus breathing through your belly.  Breath in and expand your abdomen while keeping your chest relatively still.  Also having an equal time inhaling and exhaling, helps focus your breathing and increase oxygen.

When we need a little more, the Drs. Boyd have other methods such as nitrous oxide, oral sedation and IV sedation with an anesthesiologist.  Dental anxiety is a very real problem for many people but the Drs. Boyd can manage it and make your experience a comfortable and relaxing one!

Call us at (212)755-9055 to schedule your visit with us.

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