I have over 30 years of experience as a dentist, and in my career I have seen many patients with dental phobias and anxieties. These fears can be quite common. Many dental providers and myself have began to offer environments with television, music, calming décor, aromatherapy, etc. in order to help patients relax. The goal is to help patients achieve a level of comfort where they can receive the necessary treatment without the dental visit causing unnecessary stress. I strive to ensure that patients always have the most positive experience possible when they visit my San Diego office for cosmetic or orthodontic treatments.
Many patients enjoy being able to listen to music while receiving treatment. We offer headphones to patients to allow them to listen to their favorite music while in our office. We have seen a large amount of success with this technique, and studies also have shown support for using common apparatuses such as music or TV during treatment to reduce anxiety.
However, studies have also shown that a calming tool (music, TV, etc.) is not always enough on its’ own to reduce anxiety. The most important factor in overcoming dental anxiety is good dentist-patient communication. It is critical that the patient is able to completely trust their dentist. This is something that is incredibly important to me as a dentist. I consistently make sure to have an open dialogue with my patients, so they can understand what treatments are being performed and/or recommended. I want every patient to feel informed and safe when he or she comes in for dental work.
So, don’t become one of the 40 million Americans that are reluctant to visit the dentist because of fear and anxiety. If you suffer from dental anxiety, contact my San Diego practice to receive the gentle, empathetic care you deserve.