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Conquering dental anxiety – what to know before you go

The thought of visiting a dentist can cause anxiety and even fear for some. Common concerns according to our patients include perceived poor oral health, fear of pain, being in an enclosed area or of the instruments used. For the most part, dental visits are pain-free, but if it’s been a while since you last visited the dentist, my staff and I want to help ease your anxiety with a few helpful pointers on what to know before you go.

First, having dental visit anxiety is very common. Many Americans will avoid going to the dentist due to anxiety. Though, it’s important to emphasize that avoidance of dental evaluations and preventive care can cause things like gum disease to get worse and lead to premature tooth loss.

Next, if you are meeting me or a new dentist for the first time, it can be very helpful to connect with our front office staff to inquire on what the intake process is like. Asking questions about your upcoming appointment and explaining some of your concerns up front can help ease your anxiety. Then, when you are at your appointment, know that asking questions and having an open discussion about your dental health is a welcomed part of the process. We usually don’t get into teeth cleaning right away and enjoy the time to connect with our patients.

If a major concern is perceived poor oral health, the good news is that there are many advanced techniques available for diagnosis and treatment of a variety of dental issues. Tooth decay, for example, is treated based on the severity. After x-rays and an evaluation, I will determine the location and size of the cavity and discuss what method of treatment may be the best. This will help you make an informed decision on treatment options. So, for some, cavities can be treated with fillings and the procedure is usually done within minutes.

If the tooth decay is more severe, then the treatment options may include a crown, a root canal or possibly an extraction. These procedure options will be discussed in great detail by our staff so that you are able to feel most comfortable about the procedure. At our practice, we also offer convenient payment options for these services – so if that is a concern, remember that you have choices.

People who may feel embarrassed about their smile due to chipped, crowded or gapped teeth should also know that there are excellent cosmetic dentistry options that can greatly improve confidence. Our dentistry practice specializes in a variety of general and cosmetic oral health care treatments. We deeply care about your questions and dental health concerns and invite you to call us today at (239) 936-0597 or visit our website for more information

At Shane McDowell Dentistry, we pay special attention to our patient’s comfort, as well as health, so you can even visit our website’s photo gallery to see pictures of the office and patient rooms before your first appointment!

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