Dental anxieties are no laughing matter. Fear of the dentist results in 25% of the population avoiding dental care altogether. Of those who receive dental care, 75% still experience mild to severe fear. Drs. Michelle and Scott Weninger D.D.S. offer a variety of techniques to support patients throughout their dental journey.
Everybody’s Dental Journey Starts Somewhere
- Admit the fear and anxiety exist. Dentists are well aware of the impact of dental phobias. Open the discussion so you and your dental providers can work together to build a plan of action. As trust builds between the patient and dentist, it helps ease some anxieties.
- Breathe deep. Deep breathing techniques use the physical act of breathing to help calm and focus the mind. It actually increases oxygen in the blood, which helps relax the nervous system. Practice at home so that it will be second nature by the day of the dental visit.
- Focus on the positive. Rather than visualizing the “what if” scenarios, visualize the “best case” scenarios on purpose. This will be harder initially, but with practice, you will find yourself creating the positive experience you hope to have before you walk in the door.
- Learn how guided imagery can help. One of our team members uses a simple mental technique to help put your mind at ease. They will either walk you through a positive experience, or they will encourage you to imagine a peaceful, soothing place.
- Shift your focus. Music, podcasts, and audiobooks work great to distract you from negative thoughts. When your brain is no longer focused on the negativity, it may allow the body to relax.
- Put progressive relaxation techniques to work. For those who meditate or enjoy yoga, this may sound familiar. You focus on relaxing every muscle in your body, starting with the toes and working your way up to the head. This not only calms the mind but also helps reduce pain.
- Download our eBook. We want you to know we value you and your experiences. Our free eBook can help you get back to the dentist for the care you deserve.
Times Have Changed
Thanks to advances in modern dentistry, many treatments are gentler than they once were. Yes, the smells and sounds are similar, but modifications in equipment and technology allow many procedures to be done pain-free. We can offer a liquid numbing agent (1% Dyclonine) for our patients to rinse with for 45-seconds prior. It helps numb the gums for about 45-min without having to get injections if the patient prefers. If it has been a long time since your last visit, you may be surprised how much the overall dental experience has improved.
Sedation dentistry offers several options depending on the needs of the patient and the procedure. For some patients, oral sedation provides a way to deal with fear and anxiety, especially for shorter visits. Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or an oral medication produces a calming effect and allows many patients to get through dental cleanings unscathed. IV sedation works better for longer visits but can also be used to help those with severe fears or phobias. Sedation dentistry gives patients options, which can help patients feel like they have a voice.
At Weninger Dentistry, we value the experiences of all of our patients. Drs. Michelle and Scott Weninger D.D.S. work closely with patients to identify fears and then form a plan of action to make dental care as painless and stress-free as possible.