Dental appointments can be intimidating at any age. Bright lights, feelings of not being in control and a fear of pain leaves many people dreading trips to the dentist, even causing anxiety and severe stress in a large amount of patients.
Dental anxiety is very real, but there are ways you can manage it to make trips to the dentist less daunting. These tactics range from your choice of dentist to small things you can do to ease your mind before heading to your appointment.
If this is a problem you face, read on to find solutions that may help you with your fear of the dentist.
Bring Someone With You
Sometimes the best thing you can do to calm yourself at a dentist appointment is to bring someone with you. Having a friend or family member in the room to keep you company may reduce anxiety that results from being alone and isolated in a dentist’s office. Most dentists won’t have an issue with you bringing someone along, especially if you tell them that it will help with your dental anxiety.
Have Distractions Available
This doesn’t mean distracting your dentist so you can sneak out of the room. Just like getting a shot or blood work at the doctor, keeping yourself distracted can help reduce your fear, as you may not even be aware of what dental work is being done. Many dentists have television sets for your enjoyment, but if they don’t, ask them if you could put earbuds in and listen to your favorite music or a podcast. This will keep you mind off of what scares you, and your appointment will be over before you know it.
Ask For Breaks
Dental visits often leave patients feeling claustrophobic and trapped, which can be addressed by taking a few breaks during the course of your visit. Just ask your dentist if they’ll let you take a break or two throughout the course of your visit. This can help eliminate the overwhelming, confined feeling that many people feel at the dentist.
Ask For A Topical Anesthetic
People don’t like needles, and if you’ve gotten a dental procedure done, you’ve likely had novocaine or a similar anesthetic injected right into your gums. If this pain terrifies you, ask your dentist for a topical anesthesia instead. Using a gel or cream can eliminate the pain from needles, giving you one less thing to fear! Just ask your dentist.
Communicate With Your Dentist
The biggest thing you can do to ease your fear of the dentist is to talk to them about your fears and what you can do to overcome them. If you feel powerless during your visit, maybe you can come up with a hand signal. Or, if there’s something you don’t like, your dentist may be able to come up with alternatives or helpful tips. Keeping your dentist informed of your fears will help develop a strong relationship with them, which may help ease your anxiety in and of itself.
The Final Word
Preparation and communication are the two biggest factors that can help reduce the fear and anxiety you feel when going to the dentist. Take the time to think about what your fear most so you can be open with your dentist about things you aren’t comfortable with. If you need to make a dental appointment, you can schedule one below! We’ll make you as comfortable as possible when you visit our office.