If the thought of getting in the dentist’s chair fires up your anxiety, you’re not alone. Dental fear is actually more common than you may think, with up to 20 percent of patients avoiding dental care unless it is absolutely necessary, according to WebMD. However, your oral health is important, and preventive care is the only way to combat issues like dental decay, which can cause serious and potentially painful issues further down the line.
Here are six tips to help you battle and manage your dental fear:
1. Talk to your dentist
First and foremost, talk to your dentist! Be honest about your concerns. If your dentist seems impatient or dismissive about what you say, then you should probably avoid them. On the other hand, a dentist who listens to your concerns and works with you will leave you feeling a lot more comfortable and relaxed. When you feel like you’re being listened to, you’re likely to experience less anxiety.
2. Inquire about sedation
Some dental offices offer different methods of sedation to make your visit or procedures more comfortable. These may include nitrous oxide (commonly known as laughing gas) or stronger methods of conscious sedation.
3. Ask about medication
In addition to in-office sedation, your dentist may prescribe you a mild sedative to take before your visit. This will help to relieve your anxiety so that you can relax.
4. Remember to breathe
Forgetting to breathe while you’re in the chair can make things worse. By holding your breath and tensing up, you’re already putting your body into an anticipatory state—waiting for pain to occur. By remembering to breathe and staying relaxed, you’ll lower your anxiety.
5. Bring a trusted friend
You can also bring a close friend or family member along with you if you are very nervous about your visit. Your dentist may even allow them to join you in the exam room. Having someone you trust present might lessen your fear of the unknown.
6. Find a distraction
Bring headphones and listen to music during your appointment. Or, use a handheld device and headphones to watch a TV show or movie. Some dentists’ offices actually have televisions in the exam rooms so that you can watch something during your visit.
Overall, you shouldn’t feel ashamed about your dental fear. Speak up about your concerns, do some research, and you’ll find a dentist who will work with you to assuage your concerns.
Levan Dental Group
At Levan Dental Group our team of experienced cosmetic dentists understand dental anxiety. We will ensure your dental experience will be comfortable and stress free. Please contact our office for an appointment 734-464-8020 or click here.