Dental anxiety is the fear of visiting the dentist. People suffering from dental anxiety experience overwhelming fear and nervousness during dental visits.
Speak up about your fears
The best way to overcome dental fear is to let your dentist know all about your anxiety before your appointment. The dentist can talk to you about your specific fears and help you work through them. If you let the dentist know about your fears and concerns ahead of time, they can plan your appointment accordingly. They may even be able to prescribe you some anti-anxiety medication to calm you down.
Bring a friend with you
You may also want to ask someone to come with you to your appointment. Having someone there to talk to and hold your hand can help you calm your nerves. This person can also remind you to take a deep breath, relax your shoulders, or smile to help distract you from the procedure at hand.
Agree on a signal
Discuss a signal with your dentist. For example, you can raise your hand as a way to let your dentist know that you need a break. It could be anything that works for you — as long as you both agree on the signal ahead of time. That way, you’ll be prepared and won’t be as stressed out at your next checkup.
Bringing a distraction can be a useful tool in easing your dental fear. Consider bringing headphones to listen to your favorite music or audiobook, or simply bring your phone if it’s allowed and distract yourself with social media or games on it. You can also bring a tablet to watch a show on Netflix during your appointment, as long as it isn’t distracting you from your treatment. If your concerns are about the environment in the dental office, you can also ask your hygienist if you can bring a comfort item from home, such as a stuffed animal or a hoodie, to feel more at ease.
Consider sedation dentistry
Sedation dentistry is for patients who experience overwhelming anxiety and fear during dental treatments. This anxiety can cause patients to miss their appointments and postpone treatment. It can also result in a severe gag reflex and even panic attacks while in the dentist’s chair. When patients avoid regular dental care due to these fears, they are more likely to suffer from tooth decay and the need for root canal therapy or tooth extraction. The best way to combat these problems is through sedation dentistry.
If you’ve tried everything you can to get through your procedure but are still feeling anxious, consider asking your dentist about sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry is the use of medications to relax and calm a patient during a procedure. As a result, the patient feels more relaxed and less nervous during his or her appointment. Ask your dentist if this option is right for you.
If you want to learn more, feel free to contact our dental office today to schedule an appointment with our dentist. We're always here to help your smile stay healthy!