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How is it that some people can breeze through dental procedures, while others can barely enter the dental office’s door? Commonhealth.wbur.org writer Emma-Jean Weinstein recounts her anxieties on a dental implant procedure, describing herself as a “highly dentally anxious patient, possible dentally phobic.” She is only one of many with the same condition.

Fear Of The Dentist

Dr. Lisa Heaton, a licensed clinical psychologist who treats patients at the University of Washington’s Dental Fears Research Clinic, says that up to 75 percent of adults have at least some anxiety about going to the dentist.

With the majority of the adult population having dental anxiety at one point, one can say it’s normal to have worries about a dental visit. However, people shouldn’t let the uneasiness stop them from going to an experienced San Diego dentist and getting the care and treatment they need.

A dental visit at least twice a year is highly recommended so dentists can treat the early stages of problems like tooth decay, a common problem for patients who love desserts like butterscotch pudding, a favorite in San Diego. So how exactly can one say ‘bye and good riddance to dental fear? Some experts and fellow patients offer some tips:

Ask the dentist to explain the process thoroughly

At times, people’s dental fear is rooted more in the fear of the unknown. Thus, asking the dentist how exactly the procedure is going to go will help. Patients should also feel free to ask the dental practitioners about any confusion they may have, especially as to the pre- or post-care treatment for procedures like dental implants.

Practice relaxation techniques

Relaxation techniques vary from people to people. For some people, breathing deeply is an effective way for them to relax. However, others may find that listening to music helps them to relax. Some consider New Age music relaxing, while some regard hardcore metal as their music of choice for relaxation.

Look into sedation dentistry

This may be a great option for those who find it difficult to undergo a dental procedure even after relaxation techniques and a good talk with their adept Poway dentists about the step-by-step process. Sedation dentistry is a safe and effective method that employs various medications to help the patient sleep, thus allowing the dentist to work unhindered. Said medications are categorized in varying levels to meet patients’ specific needs.

Dental care and treatment is necessary for optimum dental health. There are times, however, when fear can get the best of people, and so they end up skipping dental visits. That’s why it’s great to have trustworthy dentists like Dr. Justene Doan, DDS of A+ Family Dentistry to help them out.

(Source: Drilling Into Our Fear Of The Dentist — And What To Do About It, commonhealth.wbur.org, December 20, 2013)

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