Visit Our Traverse City Dentist Office to Beat Dental Anxiety

Posted on: July 15, 2016

DentistAs a Traverse City dentist, we know that most people would rather be doing something other than having a dental exam. However, we also know that there is no better place to start taking care of your teeth, improving your oral health, and giving yourself a brighter smile than in our office. This is why we have made our clinic a center for comprehensive dental medicine. Part of the reason we are focused on comprehensive dental care is because of rampant anxiety that people have of visiting the dentist. This is an anxiety that transcends most barriers and can be found anywhere you can find a practicing dentist. People are afraid to come in and get their teeth taken care of, which creates major dental challenges for them later in life. Data and studies suggest that 1 in 4 Americans would rather suffer bad breath, toothaches, and even more severe issues than to visit the dentist office. 26% of people surveyed believed visiting the dentist would result in healthier mouths, cleaner teeth, and a better quality of life, but they were too afraid to take that initial step to call and make an appointment.

Anxiety is not limited, however, to people who never come in to see the dentist. Among patients, somewhere between 3% and 20% suffer from a level of anxiety when it comes to seeking dental care. While this anxiety ranges from mild stress to full on panic, they can at least overcome this anxiety and come in to get the treatment they need. Overcoming dental anxiety can be challenging, which is why we have made it one of our priorities to tackle. Over the course of many years in practice, we have learned some best practices that may help you to mitigate, if not completely overcome, these fears.

We suggest taking three steps. First, you need to identify what exactly it is that you are afraid of. Any anxiety that remains unnamed and unspecified will grow into something much larger than it is. If you are afraid of needles, or the loss of control or even have a fear of experiencing discomfort, we can work with you and around these challenges so that your visit is much more comfortable. The second thing to do is to educate yourself. When you know what we do, why we do it, and the extraordinary measure we take to ensure your safety and comfort, you cannot help but be less afraid than you were before. Knowledge is the natural enemy of anxiety. Finally, we encourage all of our patients, especially those with anxiety, to come in at least twice per year for routine cleaning and an examination. This will help you to build up a familiarity with our dentist clinic and staff, which will work against unnatural anxieties. Familiarity helps build a relationship of trust which is critical in overcoming any fear. Lastly, we can discuss your options regarding sedation and medication if necessary.

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