Dental anxiety is the fear of visiting a dentist. People tend to put off routine dental visits due to dental anxiety. This can result in more dental issues. People with dental anxiety may avoid going to the dentist regularly. Over time, this can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental problems. Here are a few tips that can be helpful for those with dental anxiety.
Speak up about your fears
If you suffer from dental anxiety or fear, make sure you let your dental team know. Your dentist and hygienist want to help you overcome your fear and provide a safe experience for you. So speak up! Talk about what you’re afraid of, what makes you feel anxious, and what helps you calm down.
Agree on a signal
If you’re feeling anxious or uncomfortable during your appointment, give your dentist a signal that you need to take a break. This will give him or her time to check in and reassure you. It also gives your hygienist a chance to let you know what’s happening and to answer any questions you may have. Don’t be afraid to speak up! Your dentist, his or her team, and the rest of our staff want you to have a positive experience.
Once you’ve agreed on a signal, let your dentist know right away if you’re experiencing any discomfort. He or she can then stop the procedure and address your pain so you can feel more comfortable again. It may take some time for you to adjust to the tools used in your mouth or the noise of a dental drill. Don’t hesitate to speak up and ask if you can take a short break at any point during the procedure so you can regain your comfort.
Take a trusted person with you
Having someone you trust accompany you to your appointment can help ease anxiety. They can provide moral support or help interpret your message to your dentist. They can also act as a distraction for you by chatting with you about your day or by reading a book during the procedure. If possible, ask a friend or family member to accompany you, but if you don’t feel comfortable having anyone there, you can always bring a book or other form of entertainment.
While you’re in the treatment chair, you might feel anxious about what’s to come. Remember to breathe and relax as much as possible. Many patients find that listening to music helps distract them and helps take their minds off what’s going on. Try bringing headphones and music to listen to while you’re getting work done on your teeth. If you’d prefer not to bring additional items to the appointment, try downloading your favorite music beforehand so you’ll have it available on your phone or other devices.
Similarly, you can bring your own comfort item from home to help you feel more at ease. Consider bringing along a blanket, pillow, or other soft objects that make you feel relaxed and comforted. At your initial visit, be sure to wear clothing that isn’t tight or constricting. For example, avoid wearing jeans, belts, scarves, ties, or turtlenecks. These items are difficult to roll up and could be uncomfortable if you have to lie back during treatment.
Consider sedation dentistry
If your fears cause you to avoid the dentist altogether, then sedation could be the answer. Talk to your dentist about ways to eliminate your anxiety and make your visit stress-free.
Sedation involves the use of medication to help reduce anxiety and fear during a dental appointment. There are many different types of sedation, ranging from oral medications to IV sedation. Depending on the level of sedation you choose, you may need to have someone drive you home afterward. Be sure to discuss all your options with your dentist to determine which one is right for you.
If you want to learn more tips to maintain good oral health, visit Discount Dental at 2735 W Court St, Pasco, WA 99301. You can also reach us at (509) 212-9227.