If you’ve ever suffered from dental phobia – a fear of going to the dentist’s office – don’t feel alone. According to the British Dental Health Foundation, 36% of those who didn’t see a dentist regularly said that fear was the main reason. It’s been estimated that 9% to 15% of Americans avoid seeing the dentist because of anxiety and fear (that’s about 30 to 40 million people). Dr. Bruce Freund and his staff have a message for you: “we don’t bite!” We use the latest in dental technology and techniques to provide a safe and pain-free dental experience. However, we still understand that you may be hesitant.
Dental anxiety, fear, and phobia are usually triggered by certain events or experiences in the past. With that being said, it’s natural to have a certain sense of uneasiness before going to any doctor. However, you should never avoid the dentist due to fear. We know it may be challenging, but overcoming that fear is a very necessary thing that you should accomplish. People that avoid the dentist are at an increased risk for gum disease, early tooth loss, and poor dental hygiene.
Causes of Dental Phobia
Many people have this anxiety towards dental treatment. There are many different causes. If the thought of going to a dental office makes you feel physically ill or you panic/feel like crying when going to the dentist, you may suffer from dental phobia. The causes can be wide and varied, but generally include:
- Negative past experiences at a dental office
- Feelings of helplessness
- Loss of control
- Fear of pain
Dental fear, anxiety and phobia can be a difficult condition to deal with and it can end up seriously messing with your dental health. If this describes you, the best thing you can do is talk about your fears. Either call a therapist, a friend or a parent! We can help alleviate your fears and provide specialized treatment for you. Since we see patients that deal with dental phobia on a weekly basis, we’ve put together a list of techniques that may help you when dealing with dental phobia:
Find the Right Dentist
Choosing the right dentist or dental center to work with is very important. Dr. Bruce Freund and his staff are very experienced in helping patients that have anxieties and phobias regarding the dental office. We completely understand and can help work with you.
Talk about your Dental Anxiety
Coming to terms with your anxiety or fear of going to the dentist is the first step. Realize that it is not irrational! It’s a fear that MILLIONS of people deal with. Knowing that you’re not alone can really help. If you are anxious about visiting the dentist, let us know! It’s nothing to be embarrassed about.
Use Relaxation Techniques
There are many different techniques that are proven to reduce stress and heart rate during times of heavy anxiety. The next time you start to feel anxious at the dentist’s office, try this: take a slow, deep breath in for five seconds. Hold it for one second, then release the breath over another five seconds. Do this for a couple of minutes until you feel ok again. Controlled breathing, massaging your own hands, and positive affirmations have helped many of our patients in the past.
There are many things that you can use to distract yourself from the dental procedure. Try bringing a stress ball the next time you go to the dentist. Listening to music can also be an effective strategy – bring those earbuds and your most relaxing playlist.
If you have experienced pain during a dental procedure in the past, that very well may be the reason why you have anxiety! If you are feeling uncomfortable during a dental procedure, ask the doctor if you can have more local anesthetic. Depending on your condition and the procedure, nitrous oxide, oral sedation, and IV sedation may be appropriate.
Seek Professional Help
If your anxiety or fear is large enough, you may not even be able to step into our office. If your fear is this intense, we recommend seeking a psychologist to address these fears. We urge you to do this, because avoiding the dentist can be detrimental to your dental health.
Best Dentist in New jersey
Dr. Bruce G. Freund is very familiar with dental phobia and anxiety! With over 25 years of professional experience, he has run into his fair share of people with dental phobia. By treating hundreds of people with this phobia, Dr. Bruce has become an expert in alleviating his patient’s fears. Widely regarded as the best dentist in NJ, and also one of the best dentists in America, Dr. Bruce is a safe bet if you suffer from dental phobia. If you would like to schedule an appointment, our staff will be more than happy to assist you. Call 201.568.0606 for a pain free dental visit today!