Dental anxiety affects millions of people all over the world. Dental procedures can be scary, but staying away from dental care can have a negative impact on your health. If you have dental anxiety, here are a few tips to ease it.
Speak up about your dental fears
The best way to overcome your fear is to talk to your dentist about it. Your dentist can evaluate your situation and offer suggestions for making your visit more comfortable. If you’ve developed a fear of the dentist over the years and never even told anyone, now’s the time to speak up! Don’t be afraid to call and schedule an appointment to talk about your concerns or worries. It’s normal to be nervous about visiting the dentist. In fact, many people are scared to go to the dentist. You’re not alone! Many people avoid dental care because of anxiety. These tips can help you make your visit easier.
Agree on a signal
If you have an upcoming procedure that may be uncomfortable or painful, consider speaking with your dentist ahead of time about a signal you can use to let the dentist know you need a break. This can be something as simple as raising your hand. Let your dentist know what works best for you and agree on it in advance so that there are no misunderstandings when you’re in the chair. Notify them as early as you can before the procedure begins so that they have ample time to accommodate your request.
Bring trusted person
It’s helpful to have someone accompany you to the dentist who can listen and help explain things to you if you are uncomfortable or confused by what your dentist is saying. You can bring someone along who can help comfort you while you are in the dental chair. Try to find someone who you feel comfortable sharing your feelings with and can be honest with about how you are feeling. Someone you know will be supportive and encouraging can help you feel calmer and more relaxed during a dental visit.
If you are scared of the sounds the drill makes, bring headphones to listen to music to keep your mind distracted. Or bring a small toy you can hold in your hands as you sit in the chair. You can even ask your doctor if he or she has a distraction that might help you relax in the chair. Many dentists also play DVDs and televisions in the ceilings of operatories to help with the distraction factor.
Consider sedation dentistry
Sedation dentistry uses medication to help patients relax during dental treatments. This can be a great option for patients who are anxious about their treatment. There are two main types of sedation – oral and inhaled. Oral sedation is most commonly done using pills or liquid sedatives that help you relax and calm your nerves. Inhaled sedation is administered through a mask that covers your nose. It quickly puts a patient into a very relaxed state so that they feel very little discomfort during their procedure. Both forms of sedation are safe when administered by a trained professional.
Please schedule an appointment online or call us at (760) 433-9255 to have a consultation with us, and we will be happy to assist you further.