An estimated 40 million Americans do not get the dental care they need because of fear and anxiety. Many feel anxious about possible pain, anesthesia and the sounds and smells of a dental office; others have had a negative past experience with dental treatment. Unfortunately, avoiding the dentist is ultimately bad for oral health. Without regular dental exams and cleanings, problems can progress to the point where they eventually require costly and invasive treatment.
Dr. Jerry Strauss understands dental phobia and is compassionate toward those that fear visiting his office. But he believes people should have access to the professional care and attention their teeth deserve. If you struggle with dental phobia, Dr. Strauss encourages you to use some of the following strategies to improve your access to care.
Communicate With Your Dentist
Communicating with your dentist is key to overcoming dental anxiety. Have a candid conversation with the dentist ahead of time to explore possible techniques and medication to make treatment less stressful. Also, using special hand signals during treatment can help you feel informed, in control and relaxed as the dentist is working.
Bring your headphones and some form of entertainment to your dental appointment to distract yourself from the sounds and smells of the office. Practice taking slow, deep breaths to reduce panicky feelings, and enjoy your smartphone, magazine or the television in the treatment room. Relax under the blanket and neck pillow provided by our team.
When you are scheduling your dental appointment, pick a time when you know you will be relaxed and unrushed. If you are not a morning person, schedule an appointment later in the day. Or, if you have busy work weeks, ask your dentist about scheduling a Saturday appointment. Avoid caffeine and sugary foods prior to treatment, as they can heighten anxiety and restlessness.
Ask about Sedation Medication
Dentists like Dr. Strauss can administer special medications to put you into a deeply relaxed state that mimics the feeling of sleep and leaves you with little recollection of your treatment. The medications used are completely safe and can be easily administered through an oral pill. Inquire about your sedation dentistry options with our office.
Contact Aesthetic Dental Care of New Jersey
If you feel fearful or anxious about dental treatment, Dr. Jerry Strauss and the team at his New Jersey dental office can help. Please call or email us today to discuss how we can help you safely and comfortably receive the dental care you need.