Dental Anxiety and Fear


Dental Anxiety  at Bijan Family Dental Practice While oral care at home is essential for maintaining your oral health, so, too, is professional dental care. This includes routine cleanings and exams as well as dental appointments when you notice symptoms of oral health issues. However, for some individuals, the thought of going to the dentist can bring about feelings of anxiety and fear. Bijan Family Dental Practice can help.

Dental Anxiety and Fear


Feelings of anxiety and fear about going to the dentist are quite common. Between 9% and 15% of dental patients report these feelings as reasons why they avoid getting necessary care. Anxiety and fear are commonly used interchangeably, but they are terms for two different issues. Dental anxiety refers to feelings of uneasiness. You may have exaggerated fears about the thought of going to the dentist. Dental fear, or phobia, refers to intense fear. You may feel completely terrified or panic-stricken. With anxiety, you may be able to go to the dentist, although you feel uneasy about it. With fear, however, you may do everything you can to avoid going in.

Causes of Anxiety and Fear


Anxiety or fear regarding dental care can be brought on by many different issues. These include:
•  Fears of pain. These feelings are common in older patients. This is because older patients often underwent dental treatments when they were younger, without pain-free dentistry.
•  Having no control over what is happening. When in the chair, you cannot see what we are doing, and you have no control over what is going on. This lack of control can lead to feeling helpless as well as bring on anxiety.
•  Feeling embarrassed about the state of your oral health.
•  Our proximity to you. Some patients feel uneasy because we need to lean in so close to looking inside their mouths.
•  Bad past experiences. If you have had bad dental experiences in the past, it can make you feel anxious about future treatments.

Tips for Dealing with the Feelings of Anxiety and Fear


Even those with feelings of anxiety or fear still need professional dental care. There are a few things that can be done to help alleviate your feelings and make appointments more comfortable and bearable. Tips include:
•  Communication. Tell us how you are feeling. If you let us know you are feeling anxious or scared, we can tailor your care to your specific needs. We can take the time to explain what we will do, or we can explain to you what we are doing as we do it.
•  Taking breaks during your treatment. We can establish a hand signal or some way for you to let us know that you need a break.
•  Music. For some, listening to music can help alleviate anxiety and make them feel more comfortable. Other stress relief tactics may also be employed, such as a stress ball or other similar item.
•  Dental sedation. If you cannot sit still or are feeling exceptionally anxious or fearful, dental sedation may be recommended. The type of sedation recommended will depend upon your specific situation. For instance, minor anxiety can often be managed with nitrous oxide while more serious anxiety or fears may require oral conscious or IV sedation.

If feelings of anxiety or fear are keeping you from getting necessary dental care, we can help. For more information, call Bijan Family Dental Practice at (714) 421-4494 today.

Contact us

Phone

(714) 421-4494

Email

bmdds@toothsleuth.com

Location

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Hours

  • Mon:
    8am–5pm
  • Tue:
    8am–6pm
  • Wed:
    8am–5pm
  • Thr:
    8am–5pm
Bijan Modjtahedi, DDS | www.toothsleuth.com | (714) 421-4494
18109 Magnolia St, Fountain Valley, CA 92708
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