Grandville Dentists

If you have dental fear or anxiety, you’re not alone. According to WebMD, between 9% and 20% of Americans have dental anxiety that prevents them from getting the dental care they need.

It’s not uncommon for people with dental anxiety to avoid going to the dentist for years unless they are in considerable pain from tooth decay and gum disease. If you have dental anxiety, the Grandville dentists at Sarah Palmer DDS can help you work through your fear so that you can maintain a beautiful healthy smile.

Common reasons for dental phobia include:

  • Fear of pain
  • Fear of needles
  • Fear of losing control or feeling helpless
  • Fear of losing personal space
  • Embarrassment over bad oral health
  • Bad childhood experience at the dentist’s office

Talk to Your Dentist about Your Dental Fear

Start a conversation with your dentist about any anxiety or fear that prevents you from getting the care you need. Your dentist is dedicated to helping you maintain good oral health and should be willing to work with you so that you can feel comfortable in the dentist’s chair. For example, your sedation dentist can give you nitrous oxide (also called laughing gas) during your next appointment to help you feel more relaxed.

If your fear of the dentist stems from a fear of losing control, talking with your dentist about treatment options can help you feel more empowered. You may also ask your dentist to explain each step of the procedure so you can mentally prepare yourself before it happens. It’ll be easier for your dentist to provide personalized dental care when they understand how you feel. For some patients, the anxiety can start days before the actual appointment.

Distract Yourself with Music

We recommend wearing your headphones while you sit in the dentist’s chair. Listen to a playlist you haven’t heard before on your favorite music app. If the songs are new to you, you’re more likely to be distracted from what the dental hygienist and dentist are doing.

The music can also be enough to drown out the sound of dental drills or the high powered toothbrushes used during teeth cleanings (which can sound like drills). Dentists who have experience treating patients with dental anxiety may even have a TV in the room to help distract you.

Ask About Sedation Dentistry

If you have dental fear, you may want to ask your dentist about sedation dentistry. The goal of sedation dentistry is to help patients feel relaxed and comfortable in the dentist’s chair so they can get the dental treatment they need.

For example, our dental practice offers dental nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide is safe for both adults and children and wears off quickly so you can drive yourself home. If you decide to go with nitrous oxide, you will be completely awake and aware during the procedure, just more relaxed.

The dentists at Sarah Palmer DDS are dedicated to making sure you feel informed and confident when seeking treatment. If you are interested in scheduling an appointment for a dental exam or professional teeth cleaning, give our dentists in Grandville, MI a call (616) 534-0080.