Are you struggling with dental anxiety?
Dental anxiety is quite common, and it’s characterized by general anxiety, stress, and fear associated with dental settings. Some patients have stress and anxiety associated with specific triggers such as needles and drills found in a dental environment, while others experience anxiety immediately when they set foot in a dentist’s office.
Dental anxiety varies from mild to severe. However, it often results in patients failing to receive the dental treatment they need due to fear. Knowing the proper steps to take to reduce dental anxiety can help exams, cleanings, and other procedures become less stressful.
Below are tips to help you get over dental anxiety:
Research More About the Dentist
Most people experience dental anxiety for numerous reasons. Perhaps you had a bad experience at a dentist’s office or didn’t like the smell, sound, or even equipment used by the dentist. Researching more about a dentist before booking an appointment can significantly help reduce your anxiety.
Ask friends, family members, and neighbors about their experience with different dentists. If you have loved ones suffering from dental anxiety, ask them about their current dentists and how they have helped them cope with this condition.
You can also review the dentist’s website and online presence and learn more about their services. Check customer reviews to help you understand how the dentist helps patients with dental anxiety. If you’re satisfied with their services, be sure to book an appointment.
Visit the Right Dentist
Finding the right dentist will make all the difference. Not only will you be relaxed during the appointment, but you will also have faith in their expertise. The right dentist will ensure that you are more comfortable during your appointment.
When looking for a dentist, ensure you settle for one that offers the following:
- Has excellent customer reviews online
- Has friendly, caring, and compassionate staff
- It offers a relaxed, comfortable, and stress-free office atmosphere
- Answers all your questions in a way that you can easily understand
- High-tech and personalized dental care treatment
Finding a reputable dentist isn’t an easy process. You need to do your research, conduct multiple interviews and gauge your chemistry with the dentist. Keep in mind that not all dentists are the same, and finding the right one for you may take some time.
Use Relaxation Medications and Techniques
Dental Anxiety is often worse on D-day. Before leaving for your appointment, you should take some time to get yourself in the right mindset. Most patients often find it relaxing to do deep controlled breathing exercises, meditation, and even stretches.
But if you suffer from extreme dental anxiety, call your dentist and ask them whether they offer sedation dentistry and other relaxing techniques that can help you further minimize your stress. Some dentists are very good at calming their patients down.
Your dentist may use sedative medications or laughing gas (nitrous oxide) to minimize your anxiety. These medications are very effective and extremely safe for patients. You can also book an appointment to strictly discuss all the possibilities and devise the proper relaxing regimen to meet your needs.
Come With a Friend
It’s not easy to overcome dental anxiety, but you can always bring a friend or family member with you to the dentist’s office. Whether you leave the person in the lobby or bring them with you to the appointment room, this is a highly effective way to reduce dental anxiety. That’s because having a loved one who supports you around will make you feel more relaxed and a lot safer.
Ask as Many Questions as Possible
Before the appointment, ensure you ask as many questions as possible. Likewise, don’t be afraid to voice your concerns and discomforts during the appointment. The dental team is there to help you feel comfortable, safe, and relaxed.
Are you curious about a specific dental instrument in the room? Ask your dentist. Are you starting to feel anxious about the treatment and need a few minutes to relax before proceeding? Talk to your dentist and let them know.
The right dental team for you will always accommodate your requests and help you overcome your anxiety. They will also continuously explain what they are doing and how it will feel to ensure you are comfortable throughout the process.
Talk to Your Dentist About Your Anxiety
While it’s unlucky that so many people experience dental anxiety, most dentists know how to handle it. Some dentists have a lot of experience and could help you fix dental anxiety. Never keep your fears, and anxieties bottled up inside you.
Before your appointment, communicate with your dentist and open up about your condition. Tell them what makes you anxious, whether it is the instruments or the overall office atmosphere. The right dentist will strive to keep you comfortable, give you more personalized dental care and ensure you have an enjoyable experience.
Arrive Early for Your Appointment
Rushing and running around to arrive at the dentist’s office on time can lead to stress and cause you to feel worked up. It puts a lot of pressure on you and adds unnecessary stress and anxiety to the overall experience. Before the appointment day, plan yourself to ensure you arrive early.
This gives you enough time to take it slow and enjoy your experience. You can also clear your schedule for the day and reschedule any meetings you have, or better yet, take a day off.
In most cases, arriving early to any appointment gives you ample time to compose yourself. It can also be relaxing to talk to the front desk staff, joke around with them and even ask questions for additional clarification.
Minimize Dental Anxiety Today
Feelings of anxiety, fear, and stress regarding an upcoming dentist visit are real. Working through these feelings can help you minimize dental anxiety and feel more comfortable during your appointment. Following the above tips will help you easily overcome and manage anxiety.
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