Many patients experience dental anxiety. This fear can prevent them from getting the dental care they need. If you have dental anxiety, these tips are for you. By following these tips, you can help yourself feel less anxious about your appointments.
Speak up about your worries
Many people experience some feelings of nervousness or anxiety before an appointment. If you’ve spent time researching the procedure and feel prepared, consider speaking up about your worry. Your dentist may be able to ease your fear by explaining the procedure and answering any questions you have.
You can also make an agreement with your dentist for a signal to notify you if you need to take a break. Some patients find it helpful to bring a comfort item with them, like a stress ball or a fidget spinner, to keep their hands busy during long procedures. Finally, if the thought of treatment makes you extremely anxious, speak to your dentist about whether he or she offers sedation dentistry to help you relax during treatment.
Agree on a signal
If you’re afraid of pain, your dentist needs to know so they can address your concerns and develop a pain management plan that works for you. Agree on a signal to let your dentist know when you’re feeling stressed or anxious during a procedure.
Take a trusted person with you
Bringing a small comfort item like a blanket or favorite pillow can help make you feel more comfortable in the chair and alleviate some of your anxiety. Having a comforting conversation with somebody you trust to distract you from the treatment process can also help you feel calm. Try to bring someone who will calmly listen to your concerns without judgment. A trusted friend or relative can help you deal with your anxiety and can remind you to relax while you are waiting for your appointment to begin. Keep in mind that your nervousness and anxiety will also be felt by your friend or relative, so it is important to pick someone you are close to and who you have developed trust with over the years.
Bring a distraction
When you sit in the dental chair, your mind might begin to wander to things you’d rather be doing that day or week. Bringing a small handheld electronic such as an iPod can help keep you distracted during your procedure. When you’re listening to your favorite music or podcast, you won’t even notice the needles and suction tubes coming out of your mouth. Plus, if your dentist offers headphones with high-quality noise cancellation, you can listen to your music without hearing the noises around you.
Consider sedation dentistry
If you suffer from dental anxiety or fear, let your dentist know. He or she can work with you to come up with a solution to help you feel more comfortable and relaxed in the dental chair. Sedation dentistry is a good option for people with extreme anxiety or those with special needs. There are different levels of sedation available, and your dentist can help you understand which might be best for you. Just knowing that you are safe in the hands of an experienced professional can make you feel more at ease!
If you haven't since your dentist recently, or if you wish to learn more about our dental services, call us at (832) 532-7120 and schedule an appointment with us.