Posted by Winning Smiles Dentistry on Feb 11 2023, 06:11 AM
Dental anxiety is a very common problem among patients. It can lead to skipped appointments or avoiding the dentist altogether. However, dental anxiety can be overcome. Here are a few tips that may help you ease your dental anxiety.
Speak up about your dental fears
Unfortunately, many adults will avoid seeing a dentist because of fear. When visiting the dentist makes you feel anxious, speak up! Let your dental team know that you’re uncomfortable and discuss ways to help them help you feel less stressed during your visits to our dental office. You can also ask your hygienist for a numbing gel to help ease the pain of the cleaning and exam process.
At your checkup, you might feel some anxiety over having your teeth cleaned and examined. Discuss your concerns with your dental hygienist and find ways to make the process easier. Practice deep breathing techniques during the appointment to help calm yourself down. Your dentist is there to support your oral health, not to make you feel even more afraid.
Agree on a signal
Agreeing upon a signal that will let your dentist know if you are uncomfortable or in pain can help ease your anxiety as well as allow the dentist to give you the attention you need. During your appointment, ask your dentist if there is a way he or she would like you to let him or her know if you are having pain or discomfort or are feeling anxious. Depending on the circumstances, a signal may be as simple as raising your hand.
Bring a loved one with you
When you’re at the dental office, it can be scary. Having someone with you who is supportive can help you relax and ease your nerves. The dentist can take care of you while that person holds your hand and reminds you that you’ll be just fine. Plus, they can ask questions that you didn’t think of! It’s also helpful to bring a distraction, such as a book or music, to help you stay calm and relaxed.
Consider sedation dentistry
For some people, fear or anxiety keeps them from getting the dental care they need. If you’ve avoided the dentist because of nerves or anxiety, consider learning more about sedation dentistry. Sedation can be especially helpful if you have a strong gag reflex or other concerns that keep you from relaxing in the chair.
Oral conscious sedation involves taking a pill prior to your appointment to help you relax during your appointment. Nitrous oxide is another form of sedation and is administered through a mask placed over the nose. Inhaled minimal sedation works very quickly but wears off quickly as well. You remain awake and comfortable during treatment. Talk to our team to see which sedation option is right for you.
If you struggle with dental anxiety and are ready to get your smile back on track, give us a call to schedule an appointment today!