You’ve probably heard the phrase “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Unfortunately that isn’t the case with dentistry. If you skip visits to our office, you risk having small problems become larger and more complicated ones. Small cavities can be treated with a filling, but larger ones may need a dental crown. Left untreated, cavities can even result in a root canal. That’s why it’s so important to overcome your dental fear.
At Drs. Yung and Jelinek our team is committed to helping you get over your anxiety. Our treatment rooms are private, so you’ll receive your care in peace and quiet. Our caring staff will also offer you comforts like pillows, blankets, and headphones for listening to music. You may also want to try some of these seven suggestions our patients have found helpful.
Call us today at 540-349-0033 to schedule a stress-free appointment.
Share Your Dental Anxieties
Be sure to share any concerns with us, as well as any negative experiences you’ve had that have contributed to your dental fear. This allows us to employ strategies to address your specific issues. So if you’re bothered by needles, for example, we’ll use a topical numbing agent before giving you local anesthesia. If you’ve had difficulty getting numb or have sensitive teeth, you can receive dental sedation.
Think Ahead to Positive Results
Focusing on the positive end result of your treatment can help overcome dental fear. For example, your teeth will feel clean and look great after a dental cleaning. Cleanings also help keep your teeth free of cavities – which means you won’t need a dental filling or other restoration.
Fight Dental Fear by Taking a Break
While some patients prefer to get their appointments over as soon as possible, others feel less dental fear if they can take a short time out. We’ll agree on a signal, such as a raised hand, that lets us know if and when you’d like to take a break. We’ll even schedule slightly longer appointments to allow for this. A longer appointment also gives us time to explain your treatment and answer all of your questions.
Sniff Essential Oils to Calm Your Dental Fear
Sure, the use of essential oils is trendy. But it’s a trend backed by science. Research shows that smelling the oils promotes a biochemical reaction similar to one caused by anti-anxiety medications. Lavendar, bergamot, and clary sage oil are three oils often recommended for stress relief. Put a drop or two of oil on a tissue or cloth and bring it with you to your appointment.
Slow Down and Just Breathe
Biology also supports the practice of taking deep, slow breaths. They lower your heart rate and signal your brain to tell your body to relax. Try practicing deep breathing exercises before your appointment. Concentrate on your muscles, then relax different groups one by one for a similar relaxation technique.
Try Sedation to Relieve Your Dental Fear
If you still have dental fear, we recommend dental sedation. Unlike many dental practices, you can choose from three different kinds at Drs. Yung and Jelinek, each of which offers a different level of relaxation. We’ll help you determine which kind of sedation is best suited to your level of anxiety and type of treatment. Your options are:
- Laughing Gas – This takes effect within minutes of inhaling it through a small mask over your nose. Because of this delivery method, we can increase or lessen the amount you receive during your treatment. Since it wears off quickly and doesn’t leave you feeling groggy, you can drive yourself home.
- Oral Sedative – If you have a hard time even getting up the nerve to come to your appointment, you may do better with oral sedation. We’ll prescribe a pill that you take about an hour before your appointment, so you can arrive already relaxed. Oral sedation leaves you less aware of your surroundings than laughing gas. Its effects last for several hours, so you won’t be able to drive home.
- IV Sedation – With this form of sedation, you probably won’t remember much about your appointment when it’s over. It is administered intravenously, so it’s probably not the best choice if you’re afraid of needles. We often recommend it for patients who are interested in undergoing several procedures in a single visit.
Let us help you overcome your fear of the dentist! Call us today at 540-349-0033.