Dental anxiety is a real thing! Studies show that up to 60% of people have anxiety about going to the dentist, and 5-10% of them have dental phobia – a recognized mental disorder. Dental anxiety causes varying degrees of fear which manifests itself in general nervousness, avoidance, dread, sleeplessness and sometimes actual feelings of panic upon entering the dentist’s office. People with dental phobia have escalated acute fear that immobilizes them, causes them to hyperventilate or be sick to their stomach, they illogically equate a dental visit with trauma or even death. While actual dental phobia is rare, having some trepidation around visiting the dentist is normal. Many people simply aren’t comfortable with someone getting in their “bubble” – the area around their head and body considered personal space. In reality, dentists and their assistants cannot do their job without being in your face. But they sure can make it less threatening and invasive.
So, what does Summit Family Dentistry do to address dental anxiety?
Trained to look for anxious patients
The first thing is that they recognize dental anxiety as a real and prevalent thing. From the doctors to the reception team, everyone is trained to look for signs of dental anxiety and mitigate it as much as possible. That may be as simple as an employee asking and allowing the patient to talk about their anxiety, or it could be the doctor or hygienist allowing “breathers” during cleanings or treatments to allow patients to ask questions and remain calm. They know the signs and are very sensitive to patients comfort.
Every patient at Summit Family Dentistry is asked if they are anxious about their visit and if they would like detailed information about their treatment, or if they want just the basics or bottom-line. The staff takes time to explain every procedure and recommendation in as much detail as the patient wants, and will never pressure the patient to accept treatment. During cleanings or procedures the providers will pause frequently to ask patients how they’re doing, assess their comfort level and make accommodations where needed.
SFD also offers a full Comfort Menu that allows patients to choose things to make them more comfortable during their visit. The menu includes blankets and pillows, sunglasses to cut the glare of the exam lighting, headphones and a choice of music, or access to popular and current movies to watch during their appointment. SFD even has some adorable, fluffy, stuffed animals to hug on if needed during dental procedures.
For those who need some extra assistance in getting to a relaxed state, Summit Family Dentistry offers a variety of effective sedation options. Often, just a little bit of nitrous oxide is enough to relax patients for treatment, but they offer oral conscious sedation, IV sedation and general anesthesia, as well. Anxiety doesn’t need to keep you from going to the dentist. Summit Family Dentistry understands your fears and cares enough to make you comfortable. Look what their patients have to say –“Everyone is so kind, which is important in a dental office. The experience can be stressful but the staff here are all wonderful to be around.” Jennifer“I do not like dentist visits and avoided it for a while since I had heard so many horror stories. They helped me overcome all the rogue thoughts about dentists! The team is courteous, pleasant, and honestly care about you and and your oral health. I highly recommend this Team!” Jessica“Everyone there is always so nice and positive. They all make me feel welcome and comfortable. I have high anxiety about going to the dentist. Every time I come out of the dentist my teeth feel good, and I have never had a problem with my teeth as I have in the past with other dentists.” Stephanie“People are friendly and caring. They were very concerned with my comfort and they wanted to make me feel very relaxed!” Doug“I am terrified of the dentist due to many past bad experiences. Dr. Liu, Linda and Lisa were very very kind, and talked me through everything. I have never felt so comfortable in a dentist’s office before in my life. I’m so happy I’ve found my permanent family dentist!” Amoreena