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Overcoming Dental Anxiety

Overcoming Dental Anxiety

Dentist and female patient in the dentist's office

The Marshall Family Dental team enjoys starting our days with the intention of giving our patients a stellar dental experience. We understand that every patient has unique circumstances and take them all into consideration, including dental anxiety. There are many routes we can take to help you combat dental anxiety while pursuing your smile goals, and we are here to share them!

We will begin by discussing why keeping up with oral healthcare is essential. Visiting our office every six months will include a dental hygienist thoroughly cleaning your teeth. Hard-to-reach plaque and tartar will be removed, which generally builds up in areas that are more difficult to reach during your at-home hygiene routine. Your hygienist and dentist will also be able to catch any early signs of oral cancer, cavities, and other issues. When dealt with ahead of time, you will spend less time and money at our office in the long run, and your smile will thank you for it!

Many people avoid going to the dentist or only make an appointment when absolutely necessary. While you may think that dental anxiety comes from wanting to avoid pain, it is usually due to feeling a lack of control. At Marshall Family Dental, we tend to each patient with kindness and patience, desiring to provide comfort. Some of the ways in which we build trust with patients include:

  • Getting to know each patient. Building relationships with everyone who walks through our doors is in our DNA. We want you to feel like you are visiting with old friends. We care deeply about the health of your teeth but also your life!
  • Explaining what patients will feel and for how long. As we said, lack of control is the main reason people have dental anxiety. This anxiety can be alleviated by being given as much knowledge as possible about what to expect and when to expect it. We will provide information at multiple points throughout the appointment.
  • Making sure patients know they can be assertive with their needs. Our team will provide a thorough exam for all patients; however, it is an essential part of the visit for patients to let us know if there is an issue. We will ensure to inform all patients ahead of time they can express their needs and comfort level at any time during their visit goes a long way.
  • Checking in with patients during the appointment. We constantly check in with our patients throughout their appointments, especially if it involves an in-depth dental procedure.
  • Making sure patients are aware they can take a break if they are uncomfortable. We believe it is best to play it safe and take it as slowly as possible if a patient feels anxious. If you need to step out and get some air, you are welcome to let us know!

We are here to help if you are feeling nervous. Some relaxation techniques that will ease anxiety in the moment are such as progressive muscle relaxation, breathing deeply, or listening to calming music. In addition, we offer Halcion and nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas. These treatments are beneficial for anxiety over extensive procedures, and we take them very seriously. If you think they may be helpful for you during your visit, we will consult with you prior and figure out if it makes sense to include one of them in your oral health journey.

If you have questions about dealing with dental anxiety for yourself or a loved one, there is always more to learn! We want to come alongside you at our office and make everything as simple as possible. Feel free to call us at (903) 938-8315 with any questions. Learn more about our dedicated team here.