Easy Tips to Help You Handle Dental Anxiety When in the Dentist’s Chair

As many as 15 percent of people claim they avoid the dentist because of anxiety or fear, but this can definitely affect your oral health. If a racing heart, rattled nerves, and fear accompany you to your dental appointments, there may be a few things you can do to help yourself feel more at ease when you visit a Mountain View, CA dentist.

Open Up to Your Dentist About the Problem

If you have dental anxiety, one of the worst things you can do is keep quiet about what you’re feeling. It is always best to inform the dentist that you struggle with dental anxiety. By knowing this, your dentist can:

  • Take more time to explain what they are doing
  • Take steps to help you relax
  • Establish a hand signal with you so they know if you are getting extremely uncomfortable

Sometimes, anxiety can stem from something as simple as seeing or hearing what is taking place around you. Even this is something the dentist can help you solve by providing shielded glasses or allowing you to listen to music with your earphones.

Practice Relaxation Methods During Treatment

Learning how to mindfully relax during dental treatments can sometimes help thwart anxiety and induce a sense of calm so you can get through the treatment. Techniques like focused breathing, alternate thoughts, and patterned muscle tensing can help take your mind off of what is taking place. Harvard Health offers a nice list of relaxation techniques you could use while in the dentist’s chair.

Consider Sedation Dentistry If Anxiety Is Too Severe

If you have anxiety so severe when getting dental treatment that it could cause you to go into panic mode and little will relieve your symptoms, you may want to consider sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry can be done with medications given before treatments to help you relax, and the sedation can range from mild with oral medications or nitrous oxide gas to moderate with IV anesthesia.

Even though dental treatment can be scary, it is a necessary part of your overall health. Reach out to us at Cassara Dental if you have dental treatment phobias you would like to discuss.

Dental Health with Checkups

Why Getting Regular Dental Checkups is Important

If you’re like most people, dental appointments aren’t high on your list of pleasurable activities.  However, a significant amount of oral health issues can be circumvented have their progression slowed down by taking preventive measures — and this all starts with scheduling dental checkups on a regular basis. The following are just five of the many reasons to see your dentist for a checkup on a regular basis.

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is probably the most common culprit when it comes to dental issues. It’s responsible for cavities, tooth enamel loss, and even tooth loss if its progression is allowed to continue unchecked. Your dentist will be able to detect early signs of tooth decay and devise a course of treatment designed to minimize the damage it may cause.

Oral Cancer

Your dentist may also provide you with a thorough screening for oral cancer. This consists of looking inside your mouth and on the lips for precancerous lesions and checking your lymph nodes for swelling and other signs of abnormality.  Lifestyle risks of developing oral cancer include tobacco and heavy alcohol use.

X-Rays

X-rays may be given in order to check for cavities between the teeth and other possible issues that cannot be detected through a normal visual inspection. X-rays are also used to detect possible issues in the root structures of your teeth as well as the gum tissue.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is a progressive condition that can result in serious health issues if it’s left undiagnosed. Fortunately, if it’s caught early enough, your dentist can prescribe a course of treatment that will help keep it from getting worse.

Routine Cleaning

One of the most important parts of the dental checkup is having your teeth professionally cleaned. This helps remove plaque and tartar buildup, and the dentist will follow up by polishing your teeth.

Unless your dentist tells you otherwise due to specific circumstances or health conditions, you should plan on having a dental checkup once every six months. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our office at your earliest convenience to schedule an appointment for a dental checkup.