DENTAL PHOBIA AND anxiety are pretty common, affecting more than one in every ten Americans. That means that close to 40 million people avoid getting crucial preventative dental care, which in turn means that small, easy-to-fix dental problems can become big, painful, expensive ones before they’ll see a dentist. As your South San Francisco dentists we hope we can help all of our patients overcome any dental anxiety they may struggle with. We also offer a variety sedation options to help you get the care you need.
Where Does Dental Anxiety Come From?
Even though we’re dental professionals ourselves, we can understand why the idea of regular dental appointments (let alone more intense treatments) can be unpleasant for a lot of people. It’s not very fun to lie flat on your back while strangers poke around at your teeth and gums, and maybe it’s easier to hope there are no cavities instead of letting a dentist check and risk getting bad news. A lot of people feel this way, but for the sake of having healthy smiles, it’s important not to succumb to it.
Other people might have a specific bad memory that they associate the dentist with. Maybe they had a negative experience that gave them a terrible impression of dentists in general, or maybe older family members told them about their bad experiences and passed on their dental anxiety that way. At our practice, patient comfort is one of our highest priorities, and we would love to help any patients overcome anxiety based on previous experiences.
Strategies for Fighting Dental Anxiety
Here are a few things we recommend trying to help with feelings of dental anxiety:
Don’t wait until a scheduled appointment to visit the dental office. Come in ahead of time to meet the team and get familiar with the space. Maybe even bring a friend or family member along so you can feel as in control as possible.
Learn about what goes into a typical dental appointment. Ask questions and get an idea of how the process will go so that you won’t have to worry about any surprises.
Discuss your anxiety and what you think the cause might be with the dentist. When dentists are aware of a patient’s dental anxiety struggles, they are much better able to help.
Bring a relaxing distraction like your favorite music or podcast to listen to during the appointment.
Remember that modern dentistry is full of conveniences and comforts that didn’t exist for our parents and grandparents! We get a pretty great deal in the 21st century.
We Offer Safe & Comfortable Sedation Dentistry
To help you and your family deal with severe anxiety, we provide a wide range of dental sedation options. With dental sedation, we can make you feel relaxed, comfortable, safe while experiencing no pain at all during your dental treatment. Ask us about our sedation options at your next visit:
Nitrous Oxide: Commonly known as “laughing gas.” It is a very safe and effective tool that helps patients feel relaxed and anxiety-free during dental treatment.
Oral & Light IV: A wonderful option for patients who have high levels of anxiety receiving dental treatment but do not want to be put completely to sleep for procedures.
Deep Sedation: A great option for patients who want to be “put to sleep” and complete a lot of treatment in one appointment in a comfortable and safe manner.