Do you remember that feeling you got when you were called into the principal’s office when you were a kid? You might not have been in trouble, but you always worried that you were.
Some people feel that same way about coming to the dentist office. The difference is that you can choose to avoid the dentist.
Skipping the dentist is not a good thing.
Knowing that dental care is good for your oral health doesn’t make it easier to accept, however. When you have dental anxiety or dental fear, you may need a little help to get in a dentist’s chair. That help is something our team is happy to provide at Highlands Ranch Smiles.
Today we will be discussing some the ways we have helped countless patients in and around Highlands Ranch, CO, feel more comfortable with dental care.
It’s OK If You Feel Anxious
First and foremost, there is nothing wrong with you if you feel anxious. Experts have estimated that up to 15 percent of the population (around 1 in 7 people) avoid dental care for this reason. In the United States, that’s tens of millions of people.
In other words, you aren’t alone if thinking about going to the dentist makes you nervous.
The good news is that you can learn to manage your anxiety. It is a process. You will need to be patient with yourself, and you will have our support every step of the way.
The first step is understanding why you might be anxious about dental care. One tool that some people use is the Corah dental anxiety scale. Answering the questions can help you identify the cause(s) of your anxiety. Knowing why you feel anxious can help you find ways to address your concerns.
We can’t go over everything here, but some common concerns include:
■ Certain piece of equipment (e.g. the drill)
■ Criticism (going back to the principal’s office comparison)
At Highlands Ranch Smiles, we aren’t going to shame you for the condition of your mouth. Instead, we want to meet you where you are and help you improve and maintain your oral health.
We want you to know that we are one your side. We will do everything that we can to help you feel comfortable during your visits with us.
Ways To Cope With Dental Anxiety
By working together, we can find the best way to help you manage your anxious feelings.
For some patients, our comfort items provide the relief they need to sit through a cleaning.
We are happy to provide something for you to drink (coffee, tea, water), which many people find helps them relax. We also have blankets and pillows so you can feel comfy and cozy. If you prefer a distraction, we have televisions in our patient rooms or headphones so you can listen to music during your dental care.
With our private rooms, you won’t have to worry that other people might see you. You can also request longer appointment times. Many patients prefer this because this allows them to take breaks during their treatment. Doing a little bit at a time can help you complete a cleaning or other procedure.
If you have stronger anxiety, you may be interested in dental sedation.
With sedation dentistry, you can rest assured that you won’t feel any pain, you won’t gag, and you will stay relaxed during your care. Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is perfect for many patients. Oral sedation is a stronger option, which can help if you have moderate or severe dental anxiety. Please be aware that if you receive oral sedation, then you will need to arrange for someone else to drive you to and from your appointment.
How Can We Help You?
To learn more about how we help patients with dental anxiety, call (720) 644-8186 or send us a message online. At Highlands Ranch Smiles, we want you to feel comfortable, and we want to help you keep your healthy smile.