Dr. Elizabeth Duling is a caring dentist that treats patients with dental anxiety and fears. Our staff will cater to your needs to make your experience at our Owens Cross Roads, AL dentist office as stress-free as possible. In addition to the other dental concerns we treat, we also help our patients alleviate dental anxiety and fears.
Avoiding the Dentist Because of Dental Anxiety
Avoiding the dentist due to fear or anxiety will lead to many complications. The longer you wait, the worse these problems will get. Even if you brush and floss daily, plaque will form in your mouth where these tools cannot reach. Eventually, plaque will harden into a substance called tartar. Tooth cavities will form that will damage and weaken your teeth. Gum disease can easily develop because plaque hides along the gum line. If you go a very long time without dental care, you risk tooth and bone loss.
Causes of Dental Anxiety
The most important thing we want our patients to understand is that they are not alone. Many people suffer from fear and anxiety about visiting the dentist and the reasons are different for everyone. For some, their parents simply never got in the habit of taking them so they fear the unknown. Other reasons include:
- Traumatic past experience
- Fear of perceived pain
- Feeling helpless or having no control
- Embarrassed by the condition of teeth and gums
- Having a sensitive gag reflex
- Fear of shots
- A dislike of dental drills
Helping Patients with Dental Anxiety in Owens Cross Roads, AL
We find that patient education and being open with our patients is the best way to help them get through their appointments. Our dental staff will take the time to fully explain each treatment. If you have an understanding of what will happen during the visit, then you will have time to fully prepare yourself and there will be so surprises.
Our state-of-the-art dentist office is equipped with two types of sedation dentistry options: oral and nitrous. Oral conscious sedation involves taking a pill before the appointment. It will keep you completely relaxed and calm during the entire appointment while remaining conscious. Most people do not remember the appointment. Nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas”, is a gas that you will breathe during the entire appointment through a mask. This has been safely used by dentists for many years to help anxious patients get through their dental appointments. You will remain awake during the whole appointment but in a complete state of relaxation.
How can I prepare for my dentist appointment?
If you suffer from dental anxiety, there are several things you can do as well to help get through the appointment. The first thing we suggest is to be completely honest and upfront with us. We can better serve you and your needs if we fully understand what you are feeling and going through. Other tips we suggest include:
- Try some relaxation methods before your appointment
- Be on time for your appointment, but not too early so you do not have to wait a long time
- If you can, bring someone along who can help keep you calm
- Bring distractions or comfort items if you need to such as music, movies, blankets, etc.
- Do not be afraid to ask questions