Coping With Dental Anxiety

If you’ve been putting off a trip to the dentist out of fear or anxiety, you’re not alone. As many as 20% of Americans avoid going to the dentist office for that exact reason.

We’re aware of that fact, which is why we’ve made great strides toward optimal patient comfort. At Advanced Smile Arts in Danville, IL, Dr. Mike Fuesting and staff will happily walk you through the process so you can continue to take good care of your teeth.

What Is Dental Anxiety?

Dental anxiety is more than just being a little nervous about your upcoming teeth cleaning.

Signs of dental anxiety include:

  • Trouble sleeping the night before your visit to the dentist’s office
  • Feeling more nervous as you get closer to your appointment
  • Crying or feeling sick at the thought of visiting the dentist
  • Extreme uneasiness when thinking about, or actually when, things are put in your mouth during your treatment, or instantly feeling like you’re struggling to breathe.

Causes Of Dental Anxiety

  • Fear of pain

There’s a good chance this fear comes from an unpleasant or painful prior experience at the dentist. It could also be caused by fear-inducing stories you’ve heard. Fortunately, thanks to numerous advances in dental technology and techniques, most of the dental procedures you might face are dramatically less painful or pain-free.

  • Fear of injections

Fear of injections is common, especially when it involves your mouth. But thanks to anesthesia, the majority, if not all, of your pain can be eliminated.

  • Fear of the effects of anesthesia

If anesthesia is your concern, it likely stems from not wanting to feel dizzy, faint, or that “fat lip” feeling it can sometimes cause. For that reason, we provide many comfort options to help you relax.

  • Feeling out of control

Sitting in a dental chair with your mouth wide open may make you feel like you’re out of control, but we can assure you that’s certainly not the case. You are more than welcome to take breaks whenever you need one. We will guide you through the whole process so you know exactly what’s going on.

  • Feeling a lack of personal space

Many patients worry about how close the dentist or hygienist gets to their face. If you start to feel self-conscious about your breath or the condition of your teeth, don’t worry. Chances are, we’ve had cases much worse than yours and your mouth doesn’t bother us at all. We’re more than happy to help you!

How We Help Ease Your Fears & Dental Anxiety

At Advanced Smile Arts, we regularly see patients with concerns just like yours. For that reason, we provide four ways to help you cope with your anxiety and make your visit with us more tolerable.

  • Longer Appointments
  • Private Operatories
  • Entertainment During the Procedure
  • Dental Sedation
    • Nitrous oxide (laughing gas): creates a slightly sedated feeling
    • Oral conscious sedation: helps you feel completely relaxed

We want you to feel as comfortable as possible during your time with us. We won’t rush you and you can take a break if needed. Our private operatories allow us to keep things between you and our staff, so you won’t feel exposed.

We also offer headphones with music to help drown out the sounds that can add to your uneasiness. You can also watch television to redirect your attention so you’re less focused on your dental cleaning.

Don’t Worry, You’re In Good Hands With Us

One of the best ways to help cope with dental anxiety is to talk to us about your fears and concerns. Once we’re more aware of your situation, we can discuss ways to make you feel more comfortable during your time with us.

At Advanced Smile Arts, we’re striving to change lives by creating beautiful smiles. But we recognize that process may be a bit more stressful for some than others. We will happily tell you what’s happening at every stage of your visit so you know what to expect.

We want to help put your mind at ease so you can take proper care of your teeth and gums. We’re confident we can make big steps toward improving the way you feel about going to the dentist.

To discuss your dental anxiety or to schedule an appointment at Advanced Smile Arts, call (217) 703-4536 or visit us online.

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