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Overcoming Dental Anxiety

Overcoming Dental Anxiety

Dentist and female patient in the dentist's office

At Huntsville Family Dental, our team starts every day with the goal of giving our patients the best dental experience possible. We consider every patient’s unique circumstances, including anxiety about being in the dental chair. Dental anxiety is quite common, and there are many easy ways to combat it while maintaining and achieving your smile goals.

We will begin by discussing why keeping up with oral healthcare is essential. When you visit us every six months, a dental hygienist will thoroughly clean your teeth. This involves removing any hard-to-reach plaque and tartar, which tends to build up in areas that are more difficult to clean during your at-home hygiene routine. In addition, your hygienist and dentist will be able to catch any early signs of cavities, oral cancer, and other issues. When dealt with ahead of time, you will spend less time and money at our office in the long run. Not to mention your smile will thank you for it!

Many people completely avoid going to the dentist or only go when necessary. While it could be assumed that this anxiety stems from wanting to avoid pain, it is usually due to feeling a lack of control. At Huntsville Family Dental, we approach each patient with patience and kindness in this area. Some of the ways in which we help build trust with patients include:

  • Making sure patients are aware they can take a break if they are uncomfortable. We believe it is best to play it safe and take it as slowly as possible if a patient feels anxious. If you need to step out and get some air, you are welcome to let us know!
  • Explaining what patients will feel and for how long. As we said, lack of control is the main reason people have dental anxiety. This anxiety can be alleviated by being given as much knowledge as possible about what to expect and when to expect it. We will provide information at multiple points throughout the appointment.
  • Getting to know each patient. Building relationships with everyone who walks through our doors is in our DNA. We want you to feel like you are visiting with old friends. We care deeply about the health of your teeth but also your life!
  • Making sure patients know they can be assertive with their needs. Our team will provide a thorough exam for all patients; however, it is an essential part of the visit for patients to let us know if there is an issue. We will ensure to inform all patients ahead of time they can express their needs and comfort level at any time during their visit goes a long way.
  • Checking in with patients during the appointment. We constantly check in with our patients throughout their appointments, especially if it involves an in-depth dental procedure.

If you are still feeling nervous, we are here to help. Many relaxation techniques are proven to alleviate anxiety in the moment, such as breathing deeply, progressive muscle relaxation, or listening to calming music. As another alternative, we offer oral conscious sedation and nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas. These treatments are beneficial for anxiety over extensive procedures, and we take them very seriously. If you think one of these options may be helpful for you during your visit, we will consult with you prior and figure out if it makes sense to include them in your oral health journey.

If you have questions about dealing with dental anxiety for yourself or a loved one, there is always more to learn! We want to come alongside you at our office and make everything as simple as possible. Feel free to call us at (936) 295-5437 with any questions. Learn more about the dedicated dental team here.