Overcoming Dental Fear 

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Do you have a fear of needles? How about a fear of pain? If this sounds familiar, do you also suffer from a fear of the dentist? If you skip your dentist visits because of dental fear, we understand. Up to 20% of Americans avoid going to the dentist due to anxiety and fear. If this affects you, Stonebrook Family Dental can help you overcome your fears so you don’t have to miss any more appointments. 

What is Dental Fear? 

It’s natural to feel a little anxious before a dental procedure, however, some people have such a debilitating fear that it’s known as dental phobia. 

Dental phobia is a type of dental fear that is more serious than anxiety and can result in panic attacks and leave people terrified. People with dental phobia like this tend to show classic avoidance behavior, meaning that they will do everything possible to avoid going to the dentist. Further, people with dental phobia usually only go to the dentist when they’re forced to because of extreme pain. WebMD lists signs of dental phobia to include: 

  • Trouble sleeping the night before the dental exam
  • Feelings of nervousness that escalate while in the dental office waiting room
  • Crying or feeling physically ill at the very thought of visiting the dentist
  • Intense uneasiness at the thought of, or actually when, objects are placed in your mouth during the dental treatment or suddenly feeling like it is difficult to breathe

Causes of Dental Fear

People can have fears or anxiety about visiting the dentist for a few different reasons. Common reasons that some patients have fear include:

  • Fear of pain. When people have a fear of pain they often avoid the dentist. This can occur after an unpleasant trip to the dentist as a child, or just from hearing painful dental treatment stories from other people. However, due to great modern advancements in dentistry, many procedures are far less painful than they once were. 
  • Fear of injections. You more than likely know someone who is scared of needles, and this is the same type of thing, however, it can be even worse when inserted into the mouth of someone who is afraid of needles. 
  • Fear of anesthetic side effects. Some people fear the dentist because of the potential side effects of anesthesia, however if any side effects occur they are typically mild and wear off within a few hours. 
  • Feeling helpless or out of control. It’s natural human emotion to feel anxious when we think we are helpless or out of control. People with dental fear often feel this way when sitting in the dental chair with their mouth unopened and unable to see exactly what is happening. 

Sedation Dentistry for Dental Fear

Not only does having good dental health affect your smile, but it can also affect your overall health. It’s important to maintain good oral health and visit your dentist when you need to. At Stonebrook Family Dental, we understand that not everyone will feel comfortable as soon as they walk in our doors. With this in mind, Dr. Kevin Varley offers sedation dentistry.

Sedation dentistry is the use of medication to help patients relax during their dental appointments. If you are experiencing dental fear, we have two different sedation dentistry options for you at Stonebrook Family Dental:

  1. Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas). This is a safe anti-anxiety agent that is used in dental offices all over the country. Due to it’s mild effects and easy administration, laughing gas is a great way to get you to feel more comfortable and less anxious during your trip to the dentist. 
  2. Oral Conscious Sedation. This type of sedation dentistry involves taking a prescribed sedative shortly before your dental appointment. With taking just one pill, you will feel significantly more calm and realized throughout your whole visit at our office. Though you will be relaxed, you will still be awake and able to speak. However, due to how sedation side effects can linger for a few hours, you will need to make arrangements to have someone else drive you home. 

Make an Appointment with Stonebrook Family Dental 

At Stonebrook Family Dental, we are committed to helping you receive the treatment you need in a way that makes you feel safe and comfortable. If you are struggling with dental fear or dental phobia, call us today to learn more about your options. We strive to treat you with the gentle dental care you need and look forward to taking care of you. Call us today for an appointment: (303)-872-7907. 


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