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5 Steps to Overcoming Dental Phobia

It’s estimated that 30 to 40 million Americans experience some level of dental fear or anxiety. Many of these individuals learn to cope with their fear in order to maintain oral health while others can’t seem to overcome their dental-related anxieties. Whether you’ve had a bad experience at the dentist’s office or you fear not being in control, Dr. Abbey J. Lee and our team at Smiles 4 Grant Park have tips for guiding you to freedom from dental phobia.

Our chic, state-of-the-art dental office design will make you feel comfortable and at ease, and our friendly staff will make you feel right at home. There won’t be any surprises when you visit. Dr. Lee ensures that each patient receives high-quality, personalized care, and she takes the time to explain every procedure and the associated cost before moving forward. If you would like to schedule an appointment with us, contact our office today at 404-328-7177.

Still too nervous to schedule an appointment? Here are 5 steps you can take towards overcoming dental fear:

1.    Figure out why.

It’s hard to confront a fear when you don’t know the cause. Do a little soul searching to figure out exactly what about the dentist makes you afraid, uncomfortable, or stressed. The following are some common causes:

  • Past dental experiences
  • Pre-existing anxiety disorder
  • Lack of control
  • Embarrassment caused by unhealthy teeth
  • Pain

Acknowledging your fear is a great first step. Now, you can communicate those fears to a member of our dental team. We will listen with compassion and understanding. You will not be the first or the last of our patients to confess to having dental phobia. 

2.    Do your research.

Ask your friends, family, Google, or all three about the best Grant Park dentist. Then, check out their website. Look for the answers to these questions:

  • How many years of experience does this dentist have?
  • Does he or she have any special memberships, qualifications, and certifications?
  • What do other patients say about this dentist?
  • Does this dentist use the latest dental technology?

Answering these questions will help you feel confident about the quality of care the dentist provides. Research can also restore your sense of control over your dental health choices. Visit our website to learn more about Dr. Lee.

3.    Create a plan.

Once you’ve chosen a dentist, make a plan to ensure you actually follow through with your appointment. Ask a friend to go to the appointment with you, bring headphones to distract and calm yourself with relaxing music or an interesting podcast, and plan something fun for afterward. These tips will keep you motivated to keep your appointment while lowering your anxiety during your visit.

4.    Communicate with your dentist.

Be upfront with your dentist about the fears you have. Explain any previous bad dental experiences or describe what makes you the most nervous about visiting the dentist. This way, a member of our dental team can adapt to your specific needs. Sometimes, using a hand signal when you feel overwhelmed will allow you to feel more in control of the situation.

5.    Ask about sedation options.

Some dentists, like Dr. Lee, provide sedation dentistry services such as nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation for patients who suffer from extreme fear and anxiety. These, along with her gentle techniques, provide optimal comfort to our patients. Both of these options allow you to be awake and able to answer questions during your procedure while keeping you relaxed at the same time.

Contact Your Grant Park Dentist

Don’t let dental phobia keep you from a beautiful, healthy smile. Feel free to contact our dental practice online or by phone at 404-328-7177.

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