Your Hometown Dentist

Don't Let Fear of the Dentist Cause You To Neglect Your Teeth

Are you afraid to visit the dentist? Dental anxiety isn’t uncommon. But putting off dental work due to fear can do greater damage to your oral health.

At Simple Smiles in Johnson City, Tennessee, Sarah Carlisle, DMD and Drew Shabo, DDS provide expert dental treatment while keeping you relaxed. Our team of compassionate dental experts uses state-of-the-art amenities in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. 

And if just getting to the dental office is a challenge for you, we offer these tips to help you cope with your anxiety and feel more comfortable when you visit.

Do you have dental anxiety?

Maybe you aren’t sure why you have trouble sleeping the night before a dental appointment, or perhaps you feel queasy at the thought of sitting in the dentist’s chair. Many Americans avoid visiting a dentist due to extreme fear or anxiety.

Perhaps you’ve had poor or painful experiences with a dentist in the past. Some people are nervous about needles and injections, and some fear the feeling of helplessness while in the dentist’s chair. Dr. Carlisle and Dr. Shabo are skilled at easing fear and discomfort. Outside of the dentist’s office, you can also practice reducing dental anxiety on your own.

Tips to reduce dental anxiety

While we encourage you to rely on us to keep you serene and relaxed, there are steps you can take to be proactive in easing your fear.

Communicate your concerns

Telling the Simple Smiles team about your fears helps them manage your concerns while choosing appropriate treatment plans. Plus, telling the dentist how you’re feeling helps you feel more in control of the situation.

Ask for information

You may be less nervous if the dentist or an assistant explains everything that’s happening before or during the procedure. Fears can arise when a patient feels a sense of helplessness or imagines the worst during dental treatment. More demanding (but safe) procedures like tooth extractions and root canals can sound scary, especially if you go in blind. By knowing what’s happening step by step, you take the uncertainty out of the process.

Use hand gestures

Discuss a hand signal with your dental team. For example, holding up a peace sign with your right hand could mean you need to take a break. Again, this removes that sense of helplessness or loss of control you may fear during a procedure.

Try a distraction

Bring headphones to listen to comforting music or an audiobook to keep your mind off of what’s happening while the dentist works. A stress ball to squeeze and focus on can also help ease anxiety. Practice mindfulness and breathing exercises before scheduling and arriving for a dental procedure so you can enter the office with a calmer mind and more peaceful mood.

Get regular checkups

Routine checkups and cleanings and good oral hygiene reduce the chance of having a serious dental problem that requires a more involved procedure to fix. Plus, you build a relationship with your dental team that feels safe and trustworthy. This is especially helpful if you’ve had a bad experience in the past.

Don’t put off needed dental work because of fear. Call us at 423-241-6070 or use our convenient online scheduling tool to book your next appointment.

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