No More High Anxiety at the Dentist: Facing Your Dental Fear

dental_cleanings_exam_2 | Dr. Jennifer Perkins, DDS

Do you experience anxiety during your dental appointments, or get anxious even just thinking about going to the dentist?

Many people feel embarrassed by their dental anxiety. But you shouldn’t be! Dental anxiety is pretty common.

According to Peter Milgrom, DDS, author of “Treating Fearful Dental Patients” and former director of the Dental Fears Research Clinic at the University of Washington in Seattle, up to eight percent of Americans avoid seeing the dentist due to fear. An even higher percentage, perhaps 20 percent, visit the dentist only for dental emergencies, he says.

At Jennifer Perkins, DDS, we hope you’ll give us a chance to help you or your family member overcome your dental anxiety. Our compassionate Huntsville, AL team, including Dr. Jennifer Perkins, has many years of experience in soothing patients’ nerves.

We also offer dental sedation, which can help you relax during your dental procedures. Sometimes just knowing dental sedation is available is enough to keep you calm!

Call Jennifer Perkins, DDS at 256-801-0002 to talk to us about your dental fears. Talking about it is the first step to overcoming your dental anxiety.

3 Common Dental Fears

Many folks people experience dental fear because of a previous bad experience at the dentist office.

Three common dental fears are:
Fear of pain. According to a Canadian study, people who had prior painful experiences at the dentist were more likely to experience pain. Also more likely to experience pain were people with dental anxiety, those who expected dental procedures to be painful, and those who felt they had no control over their treatment.
Fear of embarrassment. Dr. Jennifer Perkins and other dentists must get into your personal space for dental exams and other treatments. This bothers some folks, who may be uncomfortable about having a relative stranger so close to them or embarrassed if their teeth are in poor condition.
Fear of loss of control. Some people get stressed if they feel they have no control over their circumstances.

We Offer Dental Sedation

If the friendly atmosphere of our Huntsville, AL dentist office isn’t enough to relax you, we can offer you dental sedation in the form of a pill that you’ll take prior to your visit. We use a type of sedative that has been around for decades for our oral conscious sedation.

We offer only non-addictive medication that has been used safely and successfully in many types of dental and medical settings. Very few people experience side effects. And of course, we monitor you throughout your dental procedure.

Still, we’ll review your medical history with you prior to offering you dental sedation. We’ll ask about medications you are taking and alcohol usage, among other factors. It’s important to be honest in answering our questions.

Though some people refer to oral conscious sedation as “sleep dentistry,” you’ll actually remain awake – though completely relaxed – throughout your procedure. If you do fall asleep, we’ll be able to easily awaken you.

Before and After Your Dental Sedation

You’ll need to arrange for someone to transport you to and from your procedure. In fact, we’ll advise you not to drive or operate heavy machinery for 24 hours, if possible.

Here are some other tips:
Be honest about your health history
Make sure you drink plenty of fluids
Follow all of our recommendations, especially the ones about eating and drinking prior to your procedure
Plan to take the day off work and avoid other intensive activities

5 More Tips On Facing Dental Fears

In addition to asking us about oral conscious sedation, here are five other tips that can ease your dental anxiety:
Talk to Dr. Perkins before any procedure that concerns you, whether it is a teeth cleaning or a tooth extraction. She is great at explaining even complex procedures in easy-to-understand language.
Use a distraction. Consider listening to favorite music or an audiobook during dental procedures. We have TVs in our care rooms, so you can catch up on your viewing if you’d like.
Bring along a friend or family member. Having a buddy along can help you feel more at ease.
Schedule an early morning appointment. That way, you’ll get your visit out of the way and won’t have to spend time worrying about it!

Don’t put off seeking dental attention if you think you’ve got a problem. While you may be a little nervous about getting a tooth filling, you’ll be more anxious if decay becomes bad enough to require a dental crown or root canal.

Ready to put your dental anxiety behind you? Call Jennifer Perkins, DDS at 256-801-0002. Or use our online form to make an appointment at our Huntsville, AL dentist office.

Call Today to Make an Appointment

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