Dental Anxiety

Patient afraid of going to dentist shutting her mouth with her hands at Westlake Oral and Plastic Surgery at Simi Valley When you are faced with an oral health issue, getting treatment right away is essential. Without prompt treatment, these issues often only continue to grow worse, compromising your oral and overall health, and leading to the need for more invasive treatments later on. However, there are some individuals who panic at the thought of getting dental treatment. Westlake Oral and Plastic Surgery at Simi Valley is here to help so that you can get the treatments you need to restore your oral health.

What Exactly Is Dental Anxiety?

Feeling anxiety, or even fear, over the thought of dental treatments is quite common, with up to about 15% of Americans citing these as reasons for avoiding going to the dentist. While anxiety and phobia are often used interchangeably, these two terms are completely different things. Anxiety is a feeling of uneasiness. If you suffer from dental anxiety, you may have unfounded, or exaggerated fears at the thought of undergoing treatment. With anxiety, you may be able to get to the office for treatment, but you may feel very nervous, and may also have trouble sitting still. A phobia, on the other hand, is an intense fear that can leave you panic-stricken. You may find yourself doing everything you can to avoid going to the dentist for treatment.

Causes of Dental Anxiety and Dental Phobia

Dental anxiety and phobia can be caused by any one of several different things.
•  You may have a fear of pain. This fear is common in adult patients who grew up undergoing dental treatments before the development of pain-free dental techniques.
•  You may feel out of control. When you are undergoing dental treatment, you cannot see what we are doing inside your mouth. You also have no control over what is going on. These feelings can trigger anxiety.
•  You are embarrassed. If your oral hygiene has not been good, you may feel embarrassed about the condition of your mouth. The proximity between you and us while we work in your mouth can also cause uneasiness.
•  You have had a bad dental experience in the past. These bad experiences can shape what you think might happen during future procedures.

What Can I Do?

We understand that dental anxiety, and phobias, can make you hesitant to get necessary treatments, or even try to avoid them altogether. There are a few things that you can do to help ease your feelings, which can then enable you to get your necessary procedures done.
•  Let us know. If you let us know that you are feeling anxious, we can provide you with a treatment that is geared toward helping you. This may involve explaining to you what we are doing it before, or as, we do it.
•  Signals. Before we begin treatment, we can establish a signal that you can give us to let us know you need a break.
•  Relaxing music. Many patients find that listening to relaxing music during their procedures helps to ease anxiety.
•  Sedation. If you are exceptionally nervous, sedation may be able to help. Nitrous oxide is common for mild anxiety. If your anxiety is more severe, we can also discuss oral conscious and IV sedation.

If the thought of undergoing dental treatments sends you into a panic, we are here to help. For more information, call Westlake Oral and Plastic Surgery at Simi Valley today at (805) 328-2180.
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1987 Royal Avenue Suite 3,
Simi Valley, CA 93065-4655

(805) 328-2180