In Good Company: 28% of Dental Students Experienced Dental Fear

What’s keeping you from the dental work you need? For many, it’s fear. Even dentists can have dental phobia! A study published by NCBI in 2012 reported that 73% of the patients and 28% of the dental students polled experienced dental fear.

Dr. Eshom knows that dental phobia, fear, and anxiety are very real issues, so he offers various methods of sedation to help patients medically deal with psychological hurdles. Oral health has a significant impact on systemic health, so indefinitely postponing dental visits isn’t a solution. With nitrous oxide, and oral and IV sedation, you can overcome hesitations and get the dental care you need for a healthy mouth and body.

Do you suffer from fear of the dentist?

According to the questions on Cronbach’s Dental Fear Survey (DFS), the most commonly used questionnaire for assessing dental anxiety, symptoms of dental fear include:

Avoidance Issues

  • Postponing scheduling a dentist appointment
  • Cancelling a dental appointment
  • A feeling of anxiety when approaching the dentist’s office
  • Anxiety when sitting in the lobby of a dentist’s office
  • Anxiety when being seated in the dental operatory chair
  • The smells in a dental office
  • Sight of the dentist

Specific Stimuli Issues

Any of these things bother you:

  • Having teeth cleaned
  • Seeing or hearing a dental drill
  • Vibrations of a dental drill
  • Seeing or feeling a syringe

Physiological Issues

During dental procedures, you:

  • Feel tension in your muscles
  • Heartrate speeds up
  • Breathe heavily or faster than normal
  • Perspire
  • Feel nauseated

Manage Anxiety the Day of Your Dental Visit

The day of your dental appointment, you might experience some tension prior to arriving at Dr. Eshom’s office. Once you’re under his care, you won’t have to wait in the lobby. Instead, a friendly staff member will escort you to a treatment room, where you can lay back and enjoy ceiling-mounted televisions with personal headphones. We offer paraffin hand wax treatments and warm neck pillows with aromatherapy, as well. If we can do anything extra to help you feel comfortable, just say the word. Within minutes of your arrival, Dr. Eshom will talk to you and administer your sedation.

Before your appointment, however, there are some strategies you can practice at home. Redirect your thoughts. Plan to do something that will engage your mind, so you won’t have time or energy to think about the rest of your day. Exercise to familiar music; go to work; watch an exciting movie. Eat mild foods that won’t upset your stomach or give you gas. Wear comfortable clothes to your visit. Avoid anything tight or constricting.

Ask an outgoing friend take you to your appointment, so you can talk and visit on the way. If you undergo oral or IV sedation, you’ll need that friend to drive you home, as well. As an alternative, on the way to your appointment you can listen to a hilarious audio book or comedian.

More Reasons to Relax

Dr. Eshom is experienced with patients who feel anxious, stressed, or fearful about dental visits and procedures. He has extensive training in all aspects of general dentistry, and his reassuring chairside manner makes patients feel comfortable.

Our team members, in the front and back office, constantly go above and beyond our patients’ expectations. They truly care about your comfort, quality of care, and overall experience in our office.

If you feel anxious about dentistry or have postponed dental treatment for a reason you cannot clearly explain, give us a call at (858) 455-9151. Our San Diego dental office provides all facets of general and cosmetic dentistry to patients of all ages.

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