If you’re anxious about your dental appointments, you’re not alone. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, 25 million Americans do not visit their dentist simply because they’re afraid. Studies also have shown women are more likely then men to experience dental anxiety. We want to help you to feel comfortable in the dental chair. There are a few things you can do to reduce your stress:
*Schedule an appointment for a time you’re more likely to be relaxed. For example, first thing in the morning might be better than in the middle of a busy day.
*Eat high protein foods before your appointment to help calm you down (be sure to brush and floss after your meal!) don’t have caffeine or sugar right before your appointment, as they can increase your heart rate.
*Bring something that will be soothing for you or your child such as an iPod to listen to music or a stuffed animal for a child.
We want to create an atmosphere of trust, so please don’t hesitate to tell us what makes you nervous. Understanding the source of your anxiety may make it easier to find a solution to help you relax. Dr. Donnelly also offers sedation dentistry which can help even the most apprehensive patient relax through their appointment with ease.
Modern dental techniques have come a long way to help ensure you’re comfortable and that procedures are relatively pain-free.
Here are some fun facts to think about while sitting in the dental chair at your next appointment.
*Before dental chairs were invented in the 1700s, patients often had to sit on the floor with their head braced between their dentist’s knees during dental procedures. Aren’t you glad we no longer do that?!
*During the 1800s, offices didn’t always have electricity, so dental chairs were placed near windows for better lighting (a practice we often continue today, even with electricity).
*Although reclining chairs were first created in the 1830s, by the mid-20th century, they had become increasingly sleek and high-tech. For example, a jet-set dental chair was placed in a replica of a space ship at the 1962 World’s Fair! Sometimes these fashionable dental chairs were salmon pink or powder blue, keeping with the styles of the times.
*Today, one of the latest innovations developed in Japan is a dental chair with a built-in CD player-no need for a headset!