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How to Combat Dental Anxiety

You might remember feeling nervous about visiting your dentist as a child. But dental anxiety in adults is common as well, affecting about 20% of dental patients. Fear of the dentist can hurt your oral health if you avoid routine dental care. So take action to curb this worry and obtain the dental attention you need.

Modern dentistry prioritizes patient comfort along with high-quality dental services. You can discuss your concerns with your dentist to find solutions that will ensure you have a relaxed and positive experience at the dentist’s office. Read on to find advice from your dental professional about how to feel more at ease during your upcoming dentist appointment.

How to Combat Dental Anxiety

Communicate with Your Dentist

For your dentist to help you alleviate dental anxiety, they first need to know about it. You should communicate any nervousness you feel to your dentist so that they can adjust their methods in order to help you feel more at ease in their care.

They can discuss your comfort levels and preferences, and if you like, they will let you know exactly what to expect from each stage of your dental work. Knowing what will occur can help you feel more comfortable in the dentist’s chair as it happens.

The dentist will maintain this open communication with you during each step of the treatment process. But some people would prefer not knowing what will happen with their dental work. The dentist can work with that as well. Just let the dentist know ahead of time to find a method that suits your needs.

Practice Mindfulness Before Your Dentist Appointment

You can take measures to feel more relaxed prior to your dentist appointment so that you feel at ease when you arrive at the dental practice. Some people benefit from deep breathing exercises that can help them feel calm. You may also want to bring headphones and music with you to your appointment to make you more comfortable.

You may also invite a friend to accompany you to your appointment. Plan your visit to the dentist’s office so that you can arrive on time for the appointment without leaving too much time for you to build stress in the waiting room. Your dentist can offer more tips about preparing for your dental visit if you ask.

Ask Your Dentist About Dental Sedation

Your dentist can provide you with medicine as well that will induce a calm sensation during your dental work. Sedation dentistry offers two ways for you to feel more relaxed with targeted medication.

Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is breathed through a mask to create a calm and euphoric feeling in the patient. It will not affect your consciousness and will wear off quickly after your appointment so that it will not disrupt your day.

Oral-conscious sedation involves taking a pill prior to your appointment which will make you feel drowsy but relaxed. Some people may even fall asleep during their dental work.

The sensation will last after the length of the appointment. So you will need to coordinate a ride home from the office. Call your dentist to learn more about these dental sedation options.