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At Irvine Dentist Dr Jeevan Ghatnekar DDS , we specialize in treating patients that are suffering from dental anxiety. If you have been avoiding the dentist due to fear of what a procedure could be like or simply do not enjoy having dental work done, give us a call. In our Irvine , California dental office, we can ensure that you are comfortable and relaxed regardless of what procedure is being performed. When you visit our office, Dr Jeevan Ghatnekar DDS will meet with you to discuss what treatments you need and create a plan for how to keep your mouth healthy while easing any fears that you have about dentistry or procedures in general. This way you will be informed and empowered to make decisions regarding dental care without experiencing any anxiety.

When you visit our dental office, we can discuss ways that you can prevent experiencing anxiety while receiving dental care. In addition to the medication that we can provide, you can try relaxing by drinking a glass of tea. There are several natural varieties that you can purchase at the health foods store that will relax and calm you. At times, this can be enough to put you into a naturally relaxed state. Some patients also find that they benefit from meditation and acupuncture.

How can I prepare for my dentist appointment?
Another easy way to calm your fears is to visit our Irvine dental office and meet with Dr Jeevan Ghatnekar DDS without having actual dental work performed. Taking the time to tour our office, where you can sit in the dentist chair and have a conversation, will allow you to become familiar with our staff and office environment. This way when you do have your teeth cleaned, and dental work performed; you are doing so in an atmosphere that you feel comfortable in with procedures being completed by friendly and familiar faces. During your consultation, we can also discuss what you can expect from a teeth cleaning or a specific procedure. This will help you to prepare mentally for how long it will take, what dental tools will be used, what you could feel during the process and what the recovery period will be, if any. At Irvine Dentist, we have found that the more informed our patients are the more comfortable and relaxed they feel. This one appointment can help to alleviate the fear of dentists that you are experiencing.

The overwhelming fear of dental appointments can be a common cause of anxiety.  Many people visualize a drill-wielding man in a white coat just waiting to cause pain and remove teeth.  The reality, however, is very different.  The comfort, relaxation, and happiness of the patient are embedded deep at the heart of any good dental practice.  The staff at the practice will do whatever they can to reduce anxiety, allay fears and provide painless, quick treatments.

Recent technological advancements have meant that in many cases, dentists are able to replace noisy drills with painless laser beams.  There are also a wide variety of safe anesthetics available to eliminate pain and reduce anxiety during routine appointments.

Here is a list of some of the most common dental fears:

  • Fear of embarrassment about the condition of teeth.
  • Fear of gagging.
  • Fear of injections.
  • Fear of loss of control.
  • Fear of not becoming numb when injected with Novocain.
  • Fear of pain.
  • Fear of the dentist as a person.
  • Fear of the handpiece (or the drill).

How can one overcome dental anxiety?

Dental anxiety and fear can become completely overwhelming.  It is estimated that as many as 35 million people do not visit the dental office at all because they are too afraid.  Receiving regular dental check-ups and cleanings is incredibly important. Having regular routine check-ups is the easiest way to maintain excellent oral hygiene and reduce the need for more complex treatments.

Here are some tips to help reduce dental fear and anxiety:

Talk to the dentist – The dentist is not a mind reader.  Though it can be hard to talk about irrational fears with a stranger, the dentist can take extra precautions during visits if fears and anxiety are communicated.

Bring a portable music player – Music acts as a relaxant and also drowns out any fear-producing noises.  Listening to calming music throughout the appointment will help to reduce anxiety.

Agree on a signal – Many people are afraid that the dentist will not know they are in significant pain during the appointment and will carry on the procedure regardless.  The best way to solve this problem is to agree on a “stop” hand signal with the dentist.  Both parties can easily understand signals like raising the hand or tapping on the chair.

Spray the throat – Throat sprays (for example, Vicks® Chloraseptic® Throat Spray) can actually control the gag reflex.  Two or three sprays will usually keep the reflex under control for about an hour.

Take a mirror – Not being able to see what is happening can increase anxiety and make the imagination run wild.  Watching the procedure can help keep reality at the forefront of the mind.

Sedation – If there is no other way to cope, sedation offers an excellent option for many people.  There are several types of sedation, but the general premise behind them is the same: the patient regains their faculties after treatment is complete.

Ask about alternatives – Advances in technology mean that a dental microsurgery is now an option. Lasers can be used to prepare teeth for fillings, whiten teeth and remove staining.  Discuss all the options with the dentist and decide on one that is effective and produces minimal dental anxiety.

If you have questions or concerns about how the dentist can help you overcome dental anxiety and fear, please contact Dr. Jeevan V. Ghatnekar, DDS at (949) 552-1380 or email us at [email protected]