By The office of Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler
April 03, 2013
Category: Relaxation
Tags: Untagged

Don’t Fear the Dentist, Learn to Overcome Your Dental Anxiety

    Some people do not look forward to dental appointments.  However, it is important to understand that most dental procedures are not painful.  Instead, just being examined can make people feel stressed and uneasy about their trip to the dentist.  If you fear the dentist, you are not alone. What is important is that there is nothing to fear about going to the dentist for check-ups and procedures because advancements in dentistry allow your dentist to provide the care you need without the pain and discomfort that you may be afraid of. Today, procedures are easy to perform and you will exhibit minimal to no pain at all.


Why do I have a Dental Anxiety?

    The causes of dental anxieties are numerous and include factors both related and unrelated to dentistry.  Past experiences will also influence the anxiety you may feel.  This not only includes physically painful dental visits and treatments, but also psychologically uncomfortable experiences, such as being humiliated by dental professionals, family, friends or others.   Be assured that Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler can help you overcome your anxiety over past dental experiences.  Her team of caring professionals will make you feel at ease every step of the way.

    Some patient’s fear of going to the dentist or getting dental procedures done is so severe that they may lose sleep at night and worry excessively about what might happen at the dentist’s office.  Dental anxiety is common and it is stated that up to 15 percent of Americans avoid seeing a dentist due to their fear. 

Some other reasons contributing to dental anxiety and dental phobia include:

  • Fear of pain
  • Feelings of helplessness and loss of control
  • Embarrassment or shame about the look and condition of the teeth, as well as the fearful behavior itself.
  • Past bad experiences, which includes physically painful dental visits, but also psychologically uncomfortable experiences.
  • History of abuse
  • Observational or vicarious learning
  • Post-traumatic stress
  • Fear of needles
  • Hopelessness that neglect or the condition has made it too late to do anything
  • Adverse effects of medication or their ineffectiveness in providing relief from anxiety and pain


How do I overcome my Dental Anxiety?

    If you have a dental anxiety, you should always communicate with your dentist.  The best thing you can do to get over your dental anxiety is to talk with your dentist about it.  If you are anxious about something, come right out and talk to Dr.Holly Scott-Hetchler about it because she will take the time to hear your fears and help make you comfortable.  We offer many options such as relaxation gas or oral medications to calm your nerves.

During a procedure, talk with your hands.  It is often difficult to speak with your mouth while you are undergoing treatment, so talk to your dentist before your procedure on how you will communicate if a problem arises or you feel discomfort.  A simple raise of the hand could signal discomfort, allowing your dentist to adjust the anesthesia appropriately.  Additionally, you can benefit from distracting yourself.  Let your mind wander and try focusing on another thought or a feature that stands out in the office.  Letting your mind wander can help ease some of your anxiety. 

Talk to Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler for more information on how to eliminate your dental anxiety so that you can receive the care you need once and for all.  


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Holly A. Scott-Hetchler DDS, PC 919 Chester RdLansing, MI 48912