Dental anxiety or fear of the dentist affects a large number of people. It typically results from a negative experience in the past. While dental anxiety is very real, it should not stop you from getting the treatment you need. However, it is important to be prepared when you come to the dentist. Here are a few tips to ease your dental fear.
Before you head into the dentist’s office, consider what you are most anxious about. Your fears can range from feeling pain to worrying that you’ll have to have a tooth extracted. Whatever you are worried about, tell your dentist. That way, he or she can take steps to ease your anxiety and make your visit more pleasant. For example, if you are worried that you’ll experience pain from getting a cavity filled, you can talk to your dentist about using topical anesthetics. If you worry the procedure will be invasive, ask your dentist about the types of fillings he or she offers. If you are nervous about having a procedure done, you can ask if your dentist performs it routinely or if you require a specialist. You can also ask if you can take any steps at home to lessen your anxiety, such as taking an anti-anxiety medication before your appointment.
Dentists typically do their very best to put patients at ease during their visit. Therefore, you should not hesitate to share any fears or anxiety you may have when you make your appointment. Your dentist will need to know as much as possible about your medical history, including existing conditions or medications you may be taking that may affect your dental health.
You should also be honest about the amount of money and time that you are able to invest in your oral health. While your dentist may advise you on the best treatment course to take for your condition, you should also discuss your preferences for how much time and money you are willing to spend. This will help the dentist to recommend the most appropriate treatment plan for your needs and budget.
If it helps ease your mind, make a list of any questions or concerns that you may have before you arrive at the office. This will help you feel more prepared to address any concerns once you have a chance to speak with your dentist.
Deep breathing is a proven relaxation technique, and it’s one of the easiest ways to reduce stress before appointments. This exercise relaxes the body both mentally and physically, and it lowers your heart rate and blood pressure as well, which can reduce anxiety and stress. If you practice this technique on a regular basis, it will help reduce your overall anxiety levels during dental visits.
Regular professional cleanings and exams are an important part of maintaining good oral health and preventing cavities and gum disease. During these appointments, the dentist will inspect your entire mouth for signs of decay, disease, or other issues that need to be treated. Visiting a dentist regularly can help to reduce anxiety about seeing the dentist. When you get used to seeing the same doctor and the practice in general, you’ll notice that your appointments are quicker and easier. That alone can help reduce stress and make you more comfortable during future visits!
Schedule an appointment at your next cleaning and ask about the procedures that will be done during your visit. Some dentists provide visual aids that will help you understand the treatment and expected results. This way, you can ask questions and feel more at ease during your treatment.
If the thought of going to the dentist makes you anxious or fearful, talk to your dentist about the option of using sedation to help you feel more at ease. The type of sedation that is right for you will depend on your specific anxiety level and the type of procedure you will be having completed. Sedation can be administered through medication or through the nitrous oxide. Whatever type of sedation you undergo, you should let your doctor know if you have health conditions or if you are currently taking any medications.
You can also ask a friend or family member to join you for your appointment. If you feel self-conscious about the procedures you are undergoing, knowing that someone is by your side may help you feel more comfortable and calm. Having another person present also gives you the opportunity to ask him or her questions about the treatments being performed on your teeth. This can help you feel more informed about the treatments and more comfortable and relaxed throughout the treatment process.
To learn more about our good oral care practices, visit Amin Taba D.D.S. PLLC at 5701 Northeast Bothell Way Suite 3, Kenmore, WA 98028. Call us at (425) 486-9233 or visit our website to schedule an appointment.