Does the thought of having dental work done or even just booking an appointment with your dentist stress you out? Maybe it is because you have not had dental work done before or maybe it’s just been a really long time. Sometimes the thought of not knowing what exactly the procedure entails, maybe a traumatic dental experience from when you were younger, or just the thought of needles. Dental anxiety or dental phobia can be crippling for some people. Whatever the situation may be, we have compiled a few tips to help get you through your dental appointment.
Speaking up and expressing how you are feeling, is one of the best ways to release some of that pent up anxiety. Vocalizing your feelings can make a world of difference and can help your dentist and their team treat you. This will ensure that they give you that extra attention you need. Asking any questions you may have about the dental procedure, explaining exactly what it is that makes you nervous or even telling your dentist that you want to know what he/she is doing every step of the way so you are better prepared for what’s going to happen next. It is always a good idea to remind them about your anxiety at every appointment you have or ask that they make a note in your chart for future appointments, that way they are better prepared to treat you and may even book a little extra time in order to give you breaks during longer procedures. It is always important to communicate how your feeling with your dentist.
Making sure you and your dentist are the right fit is also very important. When looking to see if your dentist is a good fit for you, there are a few things to consider. Do you feel confident in the treatment plans they have for you? Do you feel they are over treating you? When you have questions or concerns, are they open to hearing them, or do they get defensive and shut you down? Look at the little things such as how he/she addresses your concerns or even how they treat their staff. If you cannot be open and honest with your dentist or you do not feel completely comfortable in their chair, this could be what is causing the anxiety or at least contributing to it.
Technology these days can be a wonderful thing. You will find that most dental offices offer the option of watching a movie or a TV show during your dental treatment to help keep your mind off of what is going on. If this is something your office is lacking, you can always bring your phone with some headphones and throw on some music. This should drown out some of the noises that may be bothering you. If these options do not appeal to you, you could always try other methods such as a squeezing a stress ball or closing your eyes and focusing on your breathing.
Some people find their anxiety is too high and find it very difficult to cope with it during dental treatment. Some patients may decide they need a little bit of help dealing with their anxiety and may request sedation. Sleep dentistry is becoming very popular and more dentists are beginning to offer it. There are a variety of sedation options that offices may offer such as: “laughing Gas”, moderate oral sedation or general anesthesia. It is important to talk to your dentist and find out which types of sedation they offer, and what best suites you. Sedation can ensure that you are completely relaxed, will not feel pain and most likely will not remember the dental procedure.