Dental anxiety is more complex than simply having unpleasant feelings when it comes to visiting the dentist. For many, the anxiety can be crippling and they could avoid going to the dentist altogether! This is not ideal as you could be avoiding treatment that is necessary for your health. If you experience dental anxiety, you are not alone. A significant percentage of the population describes experiencing some form of anxiety when it comes to visiting the dentist. Despite the fact that your dentist does not want to hurt you and does their best to ensure that you are comfortable during your procedures; dental anxiety is still fairly common.
Take a deep breath
Practicing some simple breathing exercises can help calm your nerves. During your appointment make sure you focus on your breathing. When people are anxious, they tend to hold their breath, which only heightens panic and stress levels. Focus on breathing deeply and slowly, a consistent rhythm will make you more at ease.
Listen to music
Your dentist may allow you to listen to some music during your appointment to distract you from the sound of the drill. Nowadays, you can purchase wireless earphones which will not get in the way of your dentist’s equipment. Speak to your dentist first about this one to see if he/she will be able to work efficiently while you listen to your music.
Understand what will happen during your appointment
Our mind can come up with some really wild scenarios when we are nervous! Speak to your dentist about your procedure so that you have a good understanding about exactly what will take place during your appointment. Read all the preparatory materials and gather as much information as you need to feel comfortable. Ask questions to prepare yourself for the appointment. This will give you a sense of control over the situation, which can help reduce your anxiety.
Bring a friend
Sometimes bringing a friend or family member along to your appointment can bring a greater sense of ease. Ask a loved one who understands how you feel if they wouldn’t mind coming along with you for some moral support.
Talk to your dentist
Speak to your dentist about how you are feeling. We’ve seen this before and are no strangers to handling anxious patients. Don’t be afraid to ask if your dentist offers sedation for certain treatments. Simply knowing that your dentist is on your side and understanding of your fears can be a great help.