Anxiety about going to the dentist is extremely common not just in children, but in adults too. You may not even consciously think of yourself as having a fear of visiting the dentist, but if some of these signs sound familiar, you may be experiencing dental anxiety.
You Haven’t Been to the Dentist in Ages
You might make excuses, citing a busy schedule or simply forgetting to schedule that exam, but it’s all too easy to let the time go by. Before you know it, you haven’t been to the dentist in a year or two, or maybe it’s been even longer than that. People who have a significant amount of anxiety about going to the dentist don’t go out of their way to schedule appointments. The bad news is that the longer you go without routine exams and cleanings, the greater the potential for more severe problems with your teeth. Make it easier on yourself and go to the dentist twice a year to stay on top of your oral health.
You’ve Had Bad Past Experiences
Chances are, if you had a negative experience at the dentist in the past, it’s going to deter you from wanting to go back. Perhaps you had an unexpectedly painful procedure, or the dentist or hygienist was unconcerned with your comfort. Whatever the reason, it’s important to remember that you can replace those bad experiences with good ones. Find a dentist who prides him or herself on being gentle and compassionate, who will hear your concerns and do whatever possible to make sure you are comfortable.
You Get Nervous as Soon as You Walk In
If the sound of the drill, the smell of the clinic, and the fluorescent lighting all make you uneasy, you probably associate the sounds, smells, and sights of the office with a negative past experience, and walking into the waiting room is enough to trigger your anxiety. A dental practice that provides patients with a softly lit waiting room with refreshments, magazines, and relaxing music can make you feel unexpectedly welcome and calm from the moment you step into their office.
You Feel Vulnerable When You Sit in the Chair
If you suddenly feel a sense of panic when the dentist’s chair begins to recline, you might feel like you’re not in control anymore, that you don’t know what may happen, or that you are suddenly susceptible to pain. You might be afraid of needles, drilling, or other painful procedures, or gagging when equipment is placed in your mouth. A compassionate dentist provides televisions, magazines, and music as distractions, as well as pain-free injections and gentle sedation options to help you feel calm and in control of the situation.
You Are Self-Conscious About Having Your Hygiene Criticized
The inside of your mouth is quite a personal matter, and hearing even gentle, constructive criticism about bad breath, plaque buildup, or your lazy flossing habits will probably feel at least mildly embarrassing. It’s important to remember that hygienists and dentists see all sorts of mouths, and their number one concern is that your mouth is healthy and clean. It’s best to visit a dental practice that respects you and your feelings while still encouraging you to take the best possible care of your oral health.
High Point Family Dentistry prioritizes comfort, compassion, and gentleness, and we offer many amenities to ensure that you are relaxed during treatments. We have soft lighting with aromatherapy, warm blankets and pillows, scented towels, relaxing music, and Netflix available in treatment rooms. We are happy to work with you to give you a positive and relaxed experience so contact us today to schedule your next appointment.