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Comfortable Dentistry—How We Help People with Dental Anxiety

April 18, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. Michael Kirk @ 1:06 pm
woman relaxing on couch with headphones

If you fear going to the dentist, you are not alone. It’s estimated between 10% to 20% of Americans avoid going to the dentist due to anxiety or fear. Indeed, it is a universal phenomenon.

Signs of dental phobia include:

            • Trouble sleeping the night before the dental exam.

            • Feelings of nervousness that escalate while in the dental office.

            • Crying or feeling physically ill at the very thought of visiting the dentist.

            • Intense unease at the thought of or when objects are placed in your mouth during dental treatment.

Curiously, Grand Dental Studio receives a significant number of referrals from existing patients because their friend told them we “treat anxious patients.”

What Causes Dental Anxiety?

There are many reasons why some people have dental anxiety, including these top three:

Fear Of Pain

 This fear usually stems from an early dental experience that was unpleasant or painful or from dental “pain and horror” stories told by others. Thanks to technology, most dental offices can provide pain-free dental care. We certainly pride ourselves in using the latest technology from computerized anesthetic systems to digital imaging.

Fear Of Anesthesia

 Many people are terrified of needles, especially when inserted into their mouths. Others fear the anesthesia hasn’t yet taken effect or wasn’t a large enough dose to eliminate any pain before the dental procedure begins. Understanding a patient’s viewpoint on anesthesia really helps determine the best course of action, and this includes a discussion of any side effects with local anesthetics. We offer several options for anesthesia.

Feelings Of Helplessness Or Loss Of Control

 It’s common for people to feel these emotions considering the situation—sitting in a dental chair with your mouth wide open, unable to see what’s happening. Making our patients feel relaxed is our highest priority.

How We Can Help

Our “Relaxation Menu” provides several options to ease anxiety, including weighted blankets, headphones, sunglasses, and a comforting hand to all our patients to name a few. The key is communication during every step of the dental visit.

What started out as a mission to provide Oklahoma’s Best Dental Experience™ by following the “golden rule” has turned into a niche where people turn to us when they need a dental office to provide extra care for dental anxiety. Keep in mind that we still view it as simple kindness and part of our job. Every day we seek to improve all processes, and this includes the process of easing dental anxiety. We appreciate your referrals even if we did not set out to garner them with this approach. We take pride in providing these services to those who need and appreciate extra care.

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