How Dentists Help Patients Overcome Dental Anxiety
Whether providing a teeth cleaning in Powell or more advanced dental treatments, Dr. Williams and the rest of our team at Frontier Family Dental work hard to provide our patients with the care they need in a comfortable and relaxing office environment.
In Powell and countries around the globe, the oral health of the world’s population is suffering. While the increased prevalence of cavities and gum disease has a number of contributing factors, including a lack of dental insurance, prohibitive access to care, and an increased intake of sugar, one of the biggest hurdles is a fear of the dentist’s office.
Nearly 33 percent of the U.S. population avoids visiting the dentist due to dental anxiety or fear, a trend that is apparently universal.
According to the results of a new study, 61 percent of the world’s population reports as experiencing some degree of dental anxiety. Of the over 18,000 people surveyed worldwide, four percent claim they have never visited a dentist due to a fear of the dentist. Millions more choose to avoid receiving care unless forced to visit a dentist due to dental pain caused by advanced tooth decay, gum disease, or oral injury.
The study participants gave a variety of reasons why they choose to ignore their oral health by avoiding the dentist. The largest percentage of participants, 39 percent, reported that a fear of pain prevented them from visiting the dentist. Next, 24 percent reported that the smell of certain chemicals kept them away, while 21 percent reported the sound of a dental drill was prohibitive factor for them to schedule care.
Among a smaller number of participants, a fear of being stuck in the dental chair (7 percent) and a fear of keeping their mouths open for an extended period of time (5 percent) were contributing factors.
Combating Dental Anxiety
Considering the complex nature and varying severity of dental anxiety that patients experience, dentists around the world are trying new methods to help alleviate patient anxiety. For many dentists, this process begins with the elimination of sterile office environments. Instead of drab or gleaming white offices, many dentists have chosen to embrace colors that illicit warm feelings from patients.
Additionally, dentist have attempted to easy patient nerves by using discreet background music that works to put patients at ease. Many dentists have started attending emotional intelligence and empathy promoting seminars that give them and their staff the tools needed to help relieve patient anxiety from the moment they first walk in the door.
Technology has also given dentists new tools in which to use. Advances have already been made in quiet drills, the painless application of numbing agents, and making dental treatments less invasive.
Patient entertainment has also moved to the forefront, as many dentists now offer headphones, 3D glasses, and video technology to help distract patients while sitting in the dental chair.
Overall, the dental community hopes to find a way of making visits to the dentist seem less frightening and more fun. Or, at the very least, tolerable.
Making Your Comfort Our Top Priority
At Frontier Family Dental, your comfort and care will always remain our top priority. Dr. Williams and our staff of compassionate oral health professionals will do everything possible to help make your visit a comfortable and relaxing one.
Regardless providing a teeth cleaning in Powell or more advanced dental treatments, you can always feel confident that our team will always explain every procedure in advance. We will not proceed until you feel comfortable and ready to go. If at any point you need a break, please say so and we will be happy to give you the time needed before we proceed on.
Dental care doesn’t have to be scary. Not when patients are provided the compassion and respect they deserve. That’s the Frontier Family Dental promise.