Do your knees start to tremble whenever you think about the dentist's office? Have you ever put off a routine exam because you couldn't bring yourself to get into the dental chair? Has it actually been some time since you had your teeth checked out, because you're scared of hearing that you'll have to have cavities filled?
You're not alone. So many adults struggle with dental anxiety - and it leads to them losing out. When you're not seeing the dentist regularly, you have a higher chance of developing cavities and gum disease - and the longer you go without an exam, the worse these problems can become. That's why we're here to help you say goodbye to dental anxiety, and make a new approach to your dental care. With a combination of life and treatment changes, you'll feel better in the office, and more invested in your oral health.
Stopping Dental Anxiety's Vicious Cycle
When you're terrified of dental treatment, you're far less likely to schedule regular exams. And when you're not getting your teeth checked out and the plaque removed, you're more likely to start seeing decay and gingivitis. These problems worsen as you continue to avoid exams, and become painful (or even debilitating). At this point, you have no choice but to pursue dental treatment - and that treatment needs to be involved in order to resolve the problems. The invasive treatment triggers your dental anxiety, and the entire process begins again.
This isn't what we want for our patients. By deciding to take a stand against your anxiety, you save yourself from years of stress and compounding dental problems. Ridding yourself of dental fear isn't impossible, but it will take a muti-pronged approach.
Finding Dental Treatment You're Comfortable With
The first step is to find forms of treatment that aren't so stressful. If you're seeking cosmetic or restorative work, but are scared of invasive treatment, then you may be interested in gentler options. Talk to Dr. Okamura about what feels right to you. She will do what she can to accommodate your wishes, and find a treatment path that doesn't feel threatening.
Talking to Your General Dentist
Communicating with your dentist will make such a difference to your anxiety levels. For one thing, getting to know your dentist helps you see her as a friend (not an enemy). Dr. Okamura only wants what's best for you, and will do whatever possible to keep you comfortable. By asking her about procedure specifics, learning about the reasons behind treatment, and voicing your concerns, you gain a sense of agency in your dental care.
Getting engaged with your oral health is always a good idea - it helps you get excited about oral hygiene and upkeep. A clean, healthy mouth makes for a happy patient.
Asking for Dental Sedation in Seattle
Dental sedation is a big player in the gentle dental game. While anesthesia is offered whenever treatment may cause pain, that only numbs physical sensations. Your nerves are left to run wild, making you uncomfortable and unhappy.
Sedation has an anti-anxiety effect that leaves you feeling calm in the dental chair. It will remain effective throughout treatment, allowing you to soar through the process. Sedation helps patients form positive associations with dental treatment, and move forward with a healthier mindset.
If you think sedation may be helpful for you, talk to our staff about receiving it during your next procedure. We won't know that you're feeling anxious until you tell us about it. Once we're all on the same page, we can then move forward - together.
Get in touch to talk sedation today!