Dental Cleanings Do Not Have to Cause Anxiety

Any dental professional will tell you that anxiety about having any dental procedure done, even a simple cleaning, is a common fear. Sadly, most patients do not open up to their hygienist or dentist about this fear and instead continue to put off having their exam or cleaning. 

One of the best things anyone suffering from this anxiety can do is to tell their dental team how they are feeling, from the first phone call to schedule the appointment through the cleaning. By doing this, a dentist and hygienist can adjust how they complete the cleaning, keep the patient informed during each step, and even let patients look at and touch each tool that will be used. 

What is causing the anxiety to spike during these visits is different for each person. For some, it could be noises, not being able to see what is happening, or feeling vulnerable in the chair during the exam and cleaning. These are the most common reasons, but explaining is the most crucial part of overcoming these fears. 

How can telling your dentist about your anxiety help?

Dental professionals see hundreds of people per year and know each step and routine like the back of their hand. Because not everyone has dental anxiety, the steps the team can take to ease any fear would not typically be practiced for each patient. However, when someone does let the hygienist and dentist know, adjustments can be made to ease the anxiety. 

You can touch each tool that will be used

For people who have fear stemming from the confusing-looking tools that are used during a cleaning, there is a commonly used practice that helps overcome this fear. Most people do not realize that all of the tools that will be used during an exam can be touched by the patient before. This may not seem like it could help, but many people will tell you that it did work for them. 

Having the ability to feel, touch and hold the tools that are causing the fear can be the trick to easing anxiety by becoming familiar with each step. 

The sounds could be the reason and can be drowned out

For many people, the sounds during a visit to the dentist are what cause their anxiety to spike and cause discomfort. If this is the case, the first thing to know is that this fear is common, and luckily, both patients and dentists can do a few things to drown out the sound. 

One of the most useful things to do is bring some headphones and either your phone or digital media player to play some of your favorite music during the procedure. Doing this can drastically reduce the amount of noise a patient hears.

It is not the sound or tools, just anxiety

Many patients will say that the sounds and tools are not what make them fearful; it just happens. Again, this is not only common but a natural human response. 

Because the mouth is a very personal space, it is an instinct for humans and animals alike to keep their mouths and throats safe. During a dental cleaning and exam, both of these areas are exposed and open. 

One of the best practices to overcome this specific fear is talking with your dental team. By doing this, they will be able to provide “breaks” during the cleaning and try different techniques to ease the fear. 

Still unsure about overcoming your anxiety? Contact us today!

Our trained dental staff are always ready to answer any questions and would love to help you face your fears so you can have optimal dental health. Hearing that someone is afraid to have a cleaning or exam is common and should never cause any embarrassment. In fact, the opposite is true! Contact us today, and let us ease the fear and help you obtain the best oral health you can. 

For more information or to schedule an appointment or consultation with us, call (818) 483-9063. Our office is located in Pacoima. Call A New Smile today.

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