Dr. Arthur Thurm has 35 years of experience helping people overcome their dental phobias and anxiety in New Jersey, Delaware, and Philadelphia. Fear of the dentist is very common. In fact, half of American adults say they have at least some anxiety about going to the dentist, and about 10 percent say they are so fearful, they put off needed dental work.
There are several reasons why people say they hate going to the dentist. These include:
- Fear of pain: Some people say they refuse to go the dentist because they are afraid it will hurt.
- Embarrassment: Some people hate how their teeth look and don’t want anyone to see them.
- Lack of personal space: During the exam and treatment, the dentist is physically very close to the patient’s face. Some people simply hate having anyone so close to them.
- Feeling helpless: Some people feel like they are giving up control when they lean back in the dental chair.
- Negative experience in the past: A memory of a bad experience at the dentist can make a person less likely to go back.
- Hate the sounds or smells: While dental technology has improved greatly over the years, some people still hate the sound of the drill or the aromas associated with dental offices.
- Afraid of being lectured: Some people say they don’t want to go to the dentist because they’re afraid of being lectured about not brushing or flossing their teeth properly.
Unfortunately, delaying dental care can have negative consequences. Tooth decay can lead to painful toothaches and even tooth loss if it’s not treated. Gum disease, which is also called periodontal disease, is a serious infection that can also lead to tooth loss. Plus, it’s been linked to other serious illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, and Diabetes.
How Sedation in Dentistry Alleviates Anxiety
Our team at Thurm Dental has several methods to help patients overcome their dental anxiety. Conscious sedation methods including nitrous oxide (laughing gas), oral sedation (prescription pills), and IV sedation can help the patient feel relaxed and comfortable. The patients remain awake and conscious during their treatment, and can respond to the dentist. READ MORE »
Dr. Thurm is also a certified dental anesthesiologist. He and his team can administer general anesthesia to put a patient to sleep. The patient feels no pain or anxiety, and has no memory of the dental procedures that were performed. The patients simply awake when the procedures are completed. READ MORE »
Tips for Dealing with Dental Anxiety
The best way to deal with dental anxiety is to talk to your dentist about it and create a strategy that works for you. If you are going to be awake and aware during your dental visit, here are some ideas that could help you relax:
- Establish a signal for breaks: Let the dentist know that if you raise your hand, it means you need him/her to stop for a minute.
- Listen to music: Bring your headphones, and listen to your favorite playlist on your phone instead of the sounds of the dental office.
- Bring a friend: Many people feel better when they have someone they trust either holding their hand or sitting nearby.
- Wear sunglasses: Dentists typically provide protective eyewear, but it may be more comfortable to wear your own sunglasses.
- Hold something: Just as kids often hold a favorite stuffed animal when they’re nervous, it can help adults to hold a stress relief ball or a worry stone.
- Use visualization techniques: Imagining you’re on a beach watching the waves or walking through a peaceful woods can also help you relax.
- Silently repeat a helpful phrase: Telling yourself “I am okay” or “I am safe” can help keep you calm.
Whether you have a mild case of dental anxiety or a severe panic attack when you think of the dentist, Thurm Dental can help. Call our team today at (856) 335-1775 to schedule an appointment. Together, we can determine the best method to help you relax so you can receive the dental care you need to have a beautiful, healthy smile.