Having fear or anxiety regarding dental appointments or procedures is commonly known as dental anxiety and it is quite common. Often the anxiety is associated with fear of pain and discomfort or with the sound and look of the dental instruments used in a procedure. We often see signs of this in patients at our Chandler AZ and Queen Creek AZ oral surgery.
Dental anxiety can even run in families. A study cited in the National Library of Medicine showed 56% of those interviewed who experienced dental anxiety as a child noted that a parent and sibling had it also. While this keeps some people from going to regular check-ups, where issues are found before they become emergencies, others avoid having dental procedures and surgeries. This can be a very serious matter leading to infections and other issues which can impact your overall health.
At Desert Valley Oral Surgery, we are willing to work with you to minimize your anxiety, so that you can have the procedure or surgery needed for optimal oral health. Here are a few tips we can use together to make you comfortable during a visit to our Gilbert AZ or Queen Creek AZ oral surgery offices.
Before your procedure, be sure to:
Meet with Surgeon
It is important you let us know about your anxiety when visiting the DVOS offices. Our experienced surgeons will meet with you to discuss the procedure or surgery scheduled and walk you through each part of it so you know what to expect. You can also discuss ways to minimize your fear or anxiety before and during the procedure.
It is important to let your surgeon know what your specific concerns are so they can be addressed. Often fear of pain is what causes the most anxiety. It is important to note that not everyone has the same pain tolerance. The surgeon can detail options for addressing pain including different types of dental anesthesia.
These are a few helpful techniques to possibly use during the procedure:
A great way to distract yourself during a procedure is to listen to a podcast, book or music on headphones. This will not only occupy your mind, but it also will block out sounds of the procedure leading to less anxiety. You could use a stress ball or fidget spinner to lessen anxiety as well.
Agree on a Sign
Your surgeon and his staff can work with you to decide on a sign you can give when you need a break during the procedure. This could be raising a hand or tapping the chair. Knowing you have this option can make you feel more comfortable during oral surgery.
Employ Relaxation Exercises
There are many techniques that can be used for relaxation and treatment of anxiety. Deep breathing is one. An example would be focusing your mind on inhaling while mentally counting slowly and then exhaling while counting. Another option is tensing your muscles beginning with your toes and then relaxing them going up your body, muscle by muscle. This occupies your mind while releasing tension.
Many patients do not realize dental issues like decay or cavities begin before any pain is felt. By the time pain enters the picture, a root canal or other procedure may be needed as an emergency. It is critically important not to put off regular x-rays and check ups so issues can be found early.
At Desert Valley, we are called upon to treat dental problems as well as perform procedures that improve the look of your smile giving you extra confidence. Don’t let dental anxiety keep you from excellent oral health. We are here to help make sure you are comfortable throughout any procedure you need for a great, confident smile.