If you feel nervous about upcoming dental work, you are not alone. About 20% of dental patients may feel anxiety about visiting the dentist. But if you feel a debilitating fear of the dentist, then you may feel tempted to skip crucial oral health care. This could put you in danger of dental emergencies. Then this may require more intense dental work that may worsen your anxiety.
However, if you know how to handle dental anxiety ahead of your next dentist appointment, you can feel more at ease when you receive oral health care. Then you can better preserve your smile while feeling less stressed. Discover three ways that you can beat dental fear and enhance your experience at your dentist’s office when you read on.
Practice Mindfulness Exercises
One way to feel more relaxed at the dentist’s office is to prioritize mindfulness in an effort to relax prior to your appointment. For instance, you may want to try deep breathing exercises before your appointment to calm your nerves.
Another good idea is to bring headphones and music to the dentist’s office. Listening to music that you enjoy can help you stay calm during your dental work if it does not interfere with any procedures. You might also bring a friend with you to the appointment.
Time your arrival at the dentist’s office strategically. You want to get to the office with plenty of time to check in without stress, but without too much extra downtime for you to begin stressing about an upcoming procedure. Your dentist can provide you with more relaxation tips when you give them a call.
Maintain Open Communication with Your Dentist
Your dentist wants you to feel at ease in their care. When you feel relaxed, it is easier to complete any necessary dental work. At a family dental practice, the dentist possesses training to help patients of all ages. This includes children who may feel wary about oral health procedures.
Dentists can apply their expertise with young dental patients to adults as well. But you will need to tell your dentist about any anxiety you may feel so that they can help you accordingly.
If you prefer, the dentist can maintain open communication with you during each step of your dental treatment. Being informed may make you feel more comfortable about the dental care you receive. Give your dentist a call before your next dental appointment to find advice that may help you combat dental fear.
Ask Your Dentist About Dental Sedation
You might benefit from sedation dentistry, which involves a few types of medication that a dentist can give you to induce a calm sensation in the dental chair. Your dentist can offer several options if you want to try this method of fighting dental anxiety.
Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is inhaled by the patient through a mask. It allows the patient to feel euphoric and relaxed without rendering them unconscious.
Oral sedation involves the patient taking a prescribed tablet that can make them feel calm prior to their dental appointment. Because the effects will last beyond the length of dental work, you can anticipate feeling drowsy for several hours after your appointment.
Your dentist might also suggest IV sedation, a calming medicine delivered intravenously. This offers a deep level of sedation. For that reason, it is usually reserved for more invasive dental procedures or for patients with high amounts of anxiety. Discover which sedation treatment option will suit your needs by calling your dentist.