Dental anxiety, also known as dental phobia, describes an intense fear of the dentist – this fear typically prevents the sufferer from attending their dental appointments. In the United States alone, there are approximately 30-40 million people who avoid seeing the dentist due to a fear or phobia.
Patients who fear the dentist’s office are at a higher risk of suffering from gum disease and early tooth loss. Dr. Alfano wants to prevent this from happening, so he’s outlined a few tips to help you cope.
One of the easiest ways to help your dental anxiety is to find a great dentist who truly cares about your health and will take the time to listen to your worries. If you use a dentist that doesn’t meet your standards, your fears will only increase.
Dr. Alfano is a board certified prosthodontist – a person who specializes in dental prosthetics. His training alone clearly demonstrates that he’s a patient-centric dentist. Please schedule a consultation today to meet our Newport Beach implant dentist.
Some of our patients get nervous in new places. Even though our office is warm and inviting, we want to make your visit as comfortable as possible. For this reason, Dr. Alfano suggests bringing a loved one with you for support.
Don’t let your fear of the dentist keep you from optimal health – bring a friend or family member, and we’ll make sure you get the care you deserve.
Another approach which can be beneficial for all anxieties is to learn about meditation, mindfulness, and breathing techniques. If you learn to control your breath, it can be useful when you start feeling anxious.
One example of a breathing technique you can try is called ‘calming breathing,’ and it’s excellent for patients who start feeling anxious or panicked. Here’s how it works:
In some cases, a patient’s anxiety might be too much for them to handle without professional help. Fortunately, Dr. Alfano offers dental sedation.
He’s part of only 1% of dentists who are qualified to administer conscious sedation and patients come from all over Southern California to receive this comfortable, effective, and safe approach to dental anxieties and phobias.
The way conscious sedation works is about an hour before your surgery, you’ll take a small medication called Triazolam which is prescribed to millions of patients every year. Once the calming effects set in, Dr. Alfano will complete your treatment and before you know it, you’ll be leaving our office.
It’s important to mention that if you choose conscious sedation, you’ll need someone to drive you home – this could be a friend, family member, co-worker, or Uber driver as long as you aren’t the one behind the wheel.
Another proven way to mitigate the feelings associated with dental anxiety is to have an in-depth discussion with your dentist about the procedure. Dr. Alfano will outline each step in your treatment process, describe the sensations you might experience, and clarify if there’s any pain involved.
When you understand the procedure, it leaves less room for your imagination to create anxiety-inducing scenarios. Next time you think about skipping a visit to Balboa Island Dentistry, ask Dr. Alfano what you can expect.
In 2006, researchers from Aorn Journal, the official voice of perioperative nursing, found that patients who listened to their own music before surgery had significantly lower heart rates than those who didn’t listen to music. They also saw improvements in their blood pressure measurements and respiratory rates.
If you suffer from dental anxiety, contact Balboa Island Dentistry and ask Dr. Alfano if you can bring your music player during treatment. More often than not, he’ll be glad to accommodate you.