Overcoming Dental Anxiety to Get the Treatment You Need

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A third of Americans do not see a dentist even once a year. It isn’t hard to understand why: from childhood, many of us experienced the pain of cavities and perhaps gum disease, as well as the discomfort of braces, so dentists became associated with these things. But dental pain management is much more effective now, too, so there is no reason to fear having a regular checkup or the treatments you need.

The best way to reduce anxiety about seeing a dentist is, of course, to do your best to keep your oral health in tip-top shape. That means brushing after breakfast and dinner for a full two minutes, using a soft-bristled toothbrush to stroke from the bottom of the tooth to the top of both front and back (so, towards the mouth: upward for the lower arch, downward for the upper arch). It also means flossing before bedtime, making sure the string scrapes against the sides of each tooth.

At least twice a year, you will need to come into the Lotus Family Dental office to have the dentist check for any signs of decay or infection and once a year have a full set of digital x-rays to be sure the jawbone that holds up the teeth is healthy. You can also consider cosmetic dentistry options to improve your smile. At least twice a year, you should  have our dental hygienist do a professional cleaning, since she has special tools, techniques, and antibiotic solutions to make sure your teeth are super-clean and that the gums do not harbor any infection. Otherwise, inadequate brushing and flossing could lead to the eventual loss of teeth. 

But if you do need treatment, there is no need to be fearful or anxious. In most cases, including for dental implants and oral surgery, a topical will be applied to numb the area first, then an injection of an anesthetic will make sure you will feel no pain. For surgery, you will have a choice of a mild or strong sedative in pill form and afterwards you will be given a prescription for the appropriate pain medication.

There are other ways to reduce anxiety before a visit to our office:

  • Read testimonials about our services and study what your treatment involves.
  • Take calming nutritional supplements for a few days prior to the visit, like calcium and magnesium or herbs, which can help you relax.
  • Do meditation, yoga, or breathing exercises.
  • At home, listen to soft music and ask for it while you are in the dental chair.
  • Distract yourself in the days before by watching favorite movies and TV series, get lost in a book, play games, or go out with friends.
  • Bring a friend to talk to as you wait.

There is no need to worry about coming to our office: you will be in good hands.

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If you are looking for a dentist in West Los Angeles, call the Lotus Family Dental office today. We offer consultations to all new patients. Make an appointment with us today!

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