If you have a fear of the dentist, don’t be embarrassed because you are not alone. Between 9% and 20% of Americans avoid going to the dentist due to their fear. Dr. Laviola’s practice Dental Masters is a great choice for a dentist if you struggle with dental anxiety in Alexandria, Virginia. His patients commend him for being trustworthy, compassionate, friendly and comforting.

Don’t let your fear hold you back from taking care of your teeth. Follow these five steps to combat your dental anxiety:

Find a dentist you are comfortable with

It is common for people to feel anxious about getting dental work done. That is why it’s essential to find a dentist you are comfortable with because it can ease the discomfort. It can also be easier to talk with your dentist about your anxiety if you are comfortable with them. Dr. Laviola is an excellent dentist, or you if you have dental anxiety in Alexandria, Virginia.

sedation dentistry near me
sedation dentistry near me

Voice your anxiety with your dentist

If you struggle with dental anxiety, your dentist will not know how to help you if you don’t tell them there is a problem. Your dentist may have suggestions on how to combat this anxiety. It can also ease your anxiety a little bit just by the dentist being aware of your fear. If your dentist knows you are anxious, they will be much more attentive to your comfort during your appointment and help you feel more at ease. You can even ask your dentist to explain what’s happening at every stage of the procedure so you can mentally prepare for the next step.

Identify the root of your fear

As with any form of anxiety, the best thing to do is identify where the anxiety is coming from. Once you know exactly what scares you about getting dental work done, then you can start looking for solutions to the anxiety.

Ask for sedation

Don’t be afraid to ask for sedation during your dental visits like getting a filling or a root canal. Being under sedation will help ease your anxiety but won’t entirely put you to sleep.

Practice meditation and breathing techniques

Practicing meditation and breathing techniques can help relax your body and prepare for a nerve-wracking experience. This is important to do before your appointment and work on calming your mind during your appointment to keep your thoughts off your fears.

If you are looking for a dentist to feel comfortable with and help curb your dental anxiety in Alexandria, Virginia, visit Dr. Laviola’s website to make an appointment.

What causes dental anxiety?

Fear of pain

A highly common fear of the dentist is fear of experiencing pain during your dental work. This can stem from an early dental visit that was unpleasant or painful. It could also be a result of hearing other people’s dental horror stories. Fortunately, the technology dentists have nowadays will numb the areas the dentist will work on to eliminate that pain; however, the shot can still be painful for people, but it is much more tolerable.

Fear of injections

People who have a fear of needles understandably have a fear of the dentist because it’s a needle and other tools going into your mouth. They may also fear that the anesthesia hasn’t taken affect before the dentist starts working on their teeth. This can happen but you simply can stop your dentist and ask for more numbing medicine before they continue the work.

Fear of anesthetic side effects

People may have a fear of the side effects that come with having anesthesia such as dizziness, feeling faint, or being nauseous. Other simply don’t like the feeling that comes with being numb like the “fat lip” due to the anesthetics.

Feeling out of control and helpless

You may feel out of control or in a vulnerable state when you’re at a dentist appointment because you have your mouth open with someone working on your teeth with tools that you probably aren’t familiar with. 

To manage your dental anxiety in Alexandria, Virginia, consider Dr. Laviola as your dentist because his office has a reputation of patients feeling comfortable and welcomed.

sedation dentistry near me
sedation dentistry near me

Embarrassment

Feeling embarrassed or nervous can be a reason for having dental anxiety due to being in proximity with the dentist and hygienist. You may feel self-conscious about your dental hygiene or worry that your breath smells bad.  If your fears of the dentist are preventing you from getting the proper dental care, you should consult your dentist for advice on how to proceed. The key to overcoming your dental anxiety in Alexandria, Virginia is having a positive relationship with your dentist. This will foster a space for open communication about your anxious feelings so your dentist can assure that you feel comfortable.