Dental fear or dental anxiety is a very common issue. Such patients avoid visiting their dentist for regular checkups and treatment. This may result in serious dental issues. If left untreated, such issues can lead to other health problems.
Discuss your fears with your dentist
If you find that you have severe anxiety, discuss your fears with your dentist first. Your dentist will know what techniques are best for patients like you and will know how to alleviate your anxiety. Keep in mind that most dentists receive some training in how to handle dental fear. Most dentists are able to handle patients with mild to moderate levels of anxiety. However, if those methods don’t work, you may want to consider talking to your doctor about medication to relax you. Patients with extreme anxiety may need stronger drugs in order to relax during their visits. Some dentists may also offer sedatives to help you relax and remain still during your treatment.
Agree on a signal
Talk to your dentist about your fears and agree on a signal to use if you need a break during a procedure. This will reduce discomfort and possible pain during your treatment. Your dentist will appreciate knowing when you need to take a break or if you’re feeling anxious or uncomfortable so they can adjust their approach as needed.
Bring a support person
Being around someone you trust and feel safe with can help you reduce your anxiety. Take a friend or family member with you to your appointments for support. They can also help you communicate with your dentist and understand all the instructions better. Make sure to tell your dentist that you’ll be taking a loved one along for a visit. This will help them prepare for your visit accordingly and make necessary arrangements.
Bring distractions to occupy your mind during procedures
It’s helpful to have a coping mechanism in place to distract you from the procedure. For instance, listening to your favorite music or a podcast can help you ignore the sounds of a drill. You can also bring a book to read while you wait for your treatment to be completed.
Consider dental sedation
Patients also have the option to request nitrous oxide/laughing gas or oral conscious sedation to help them feel more relaxed during their appointment. These options can only be administered by a dentist and are extremely helpful if the patient suffers from extreme anxiety and fear during the visit. Although both forms of sedation do relax a patient, there are some differences that should be considered. Laughing gas wears off quickly after the treatment is completed. Oral sedatives need to be administered before the procedure begins. These pills take longer to wear off. Both options are safe when performed by a professional dentist. Your dentist will consider your medical history and level of anxiety to determine which option will be best for you. You can also discuss the different options for sedation with your dentist before a scheduled procedure.
If you’re looking for an experienced and professional dentist, you’ve come to the right place. We offer a variety of dental services, including preventative dentistry, emergency dentistry, cosmetic procedures, and more. We are committed to helping their patients have healthy mouths and beautiful smiles. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!
3 Grogans Park Dr Ste 103,
The Woodlands, TX 77380
MON - THU7:00 am - 4:00 pm
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