Dental anxiety is a discomforting fear that affects many patients. In some cases, it can even prevent patients from making an appointment with their dentist. An estimated 15 percent of patients suffer from some form of anxiety associated with a dental visit. This fear may arise from a traumatic experience in the past, believing a procedure will induce pain, fear of judgment regarding personal oral care, and fear of passing full control to the dentist or hygienist.
If you are suffering from dental anxiety, be aware that your dentist will make the best effort he or she can in order to offer you a comfortable experience. The following are several tips that you can follow in order to overcome your anxiety about going to the dentist.
Open the Lines of Communication
Open communication between you and your dentist will be the primary means of helping you feel relaxed when you go to the dentist. Dental anxiety is a condition that most dentists are properly trained to address with their patients in order to alleviate any tension or discomfort that can arise from dental care.
If you let your dentist know ahead of time that you are nervous or anxious about an appointment or a specific dental procedure, this opens up a dialogue between you and your dentist that will allow both of you to adequately meet your oral care needs without exacerbating a difficult situation.
If during a procedure you feel anxious about trying to communicate when the dentist is working inside your mouth, he or she may teach you a series of hand signals and gestures. These non-verbal methods for communication will help your dentist understand if it’s necessary to take a break during the procedure.
Try Relaxation Techniques
One strategy for alleviating tension during a dental procedure is to select an appointment time that avoids days or hours that you may feel particularly stressed and tense. If you know that there are days when you come home from work already high strung, try to schedule your appointment during the early morning hours.
In any situation when someone is feeling anxious or especially tense, a common recommendation is to use controlled breathing techniques to promote relaxation. It may be especially uncomfortable to adjust the way that you breathe when the dentist works inside your mouth, so practice taking deep breaths both in and out through your nose. When you control your breathing, you can help to deliver oxygen throughout your body, which can reduce muscle tension and lower your heart rate. By communicating your anxieties to your dentist, your dentist can also help you practice breathing techniques before performing any work on your teeth.
Listening to music can also be a helpful means of blocking out any of the discomforting sounds and noises produced from dental tools used both inside and outside of your mouth. While some dentists may ask you if there is a particular radio station or playlist that you would like to listen to, others will understand perfectly if you would like to use your own headphones and escape into your own musical oasis while he or she works on your teeth.
Always Be Proactive Regarding Oral Care
In general, when you have a fear of going to the dentist, there are several ways to alleviate tension. In addition to the aforementioned strategies always strive to maintain a regimented routine for oral care. Brush your teeth and floss on a daily basis in order to prevent the risk of plaque and tartar buildup and to keep tooth decay and cavities at bay.
If you are especially anxious about a particular dental procedure, you can also speak with us about the possibility of receiving prescription medication. These medications will have temporary effects that can also help to lessen your fears regarding dental work.
Implantation Dental Center in Plantation, Florida understands that each patient arrives with specific needs and concerns regarding oral care. If you are facing dental anxiety, give us a call today at 954-476-0770, or you can complete a contact sheet on our website. Please, do not be afraid to tell us about your dental anxiety. We strive to make all of our patients comfortable during all dental procedures. We will offer you our full attention during the entire process beginning with your initial consultation and lasting until the successful completion of any dental procedure.