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Dental Anxiety

Does a dental appointment make you uncomfortable or nervous? If so, you are probably experiencing dental anxiety. Often times dental anxiety is caused by a bad dental experience in childhood. Unfortunately these patients often avoid dental visits as long as they can, and end up needing much more extensive and complicated procedures.

Communication With The Dental Office

Good communication is key to reducing anxiety, so it is important to choose a dental office that you can comfortably communicate with. The most important thing you can do is be open and honest with your dentist. and hygienist.  You will not be negatively judged for it, as dental professionals know the mouth is a very sensitive and personal area of the body to have worked on. Sharing your feelings will help avoid any problems before or during treatment. Let your dentist know if you like to be told each step in a procedure, or if you prefer to let your mind wander. It’s ok to ask questions! You can also ask your dentist  or hygienist about their experience performing treatments  like yours and the expected outcomes. Knowing these things can give you the assurance you need  about your safety and comfort.

Distraction Techniques

Distraction techniques are what we see most of our patients utilizing. Ceiling mounted wide screen televisions in every room allow patients to choose a favorite program to watch while receiving their dental care. It is highly effective for both pediatric and adult patients. It diverts the patient’s attention from the procedure to something else. Other patients choose to listen to their favorite music during their visit to help them relax.


Relaxation Techniques

Knowing how to perform simple breathing techniques can help lower your blood pressure, calm a racing heart, or help your digestive system without taking drugs. Breathing has direct connections to emotional states and moods. We have never seen a patient upset who made the effort to focus on breathing slow, deep, quiet and regular breaths. You cannot always center yourself emotionally by an act of will, but you can use your voluntary nerves to control your involuntary nerves which promotes relaxation. 

The Dental Office

The office environment plays an essential role in a patient’s state of mind. A calm and caring atmosphere can go a long way in reducing one’s anxiety and stress. We also offer sedation options or anti-anxiety medications you can take prior to your dental appointment.  If you have dental anxiety, you don’t have to delay or avoid visiting your dentist. A healthy mouth is vital to maintaining good overall health and innovations in dental care have made it a much better experience for the patient than ever before!

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Smiles at Dr. Kuhl

Dr. Kuhl was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. After receiving his Bachelors degree at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, he returned to his hometown and graduated from the University of Louisville Dental School in 1985. That same year he formed a group private practice in West Palm Beach. Over the next several years he also worked in public health and was a charter member of the Florida Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

Patient Education

Want to know more about a particular dental condition or treatment? Read up on many common oral health topics in our interactive patient education center.