Going to see a dentist is the cause of anxiety for many people. A simple cleaning, for some, can turn a routine visit into a very stressful situation. If you are among those that dread, worry, or are nervous about dental appointments, there are ways to calm your nerves to make your visit more comfortable and subside any anxiety. Dental fear is common and can result in avoidance of responsibility and avoiding the proper-professional-oral hygiene care can lead to bigger health issues. If these are feeling you have, you are not alone, and there are ways to overcome the panic that so many feel when it comes to dental visits.
No one is born being afraid of going to the dentist. It is learned somewhere along one’s life path that the dentist is something to fear. Either from past dental experiences, the sense of loss of control in a dental environment, stories from others, media, or indirect experiences. The human mind is a very powerful thing and having such “tales” about dental visits can cause anxiety in the calmest among us.
When you neglect your mouth by skipping dental visits you not only put your oral health at risk, but it can have an effect on your life in general. Neglecting your teeth can cause tooth decay, cavities, and bad breath. As a result this can impact your self confidence and may cause you to limit your social interactions.
Our office is fully aware that not everyone can visit the dentist with the greatest of ease. We know that there are patients who truly have a fear of sitting in the dental chair. But even if your mind tells you you’ll be just fine, your body may be telling another story.
Here are a few tips to help you overcome the fear of the dentist and make you more comfortable during your visits to our office:
- Bring someone who is close to you, someone you trust. Having a friend or relative sit with you during your visit can calm those frazzled nerves
- Look for a way of distraction. Bring headphones with a playlist of music that you love and that will put you at ease
- Try some relaxing techniques. Taking controlled breaths, such as taking in deep breaths and letting them out slowly. This slows your heartbeat and relaxes your muscles. Or try focusing on relaxing different and specific muscle groups. Both of these techniques also double as a form of distraction.
- Have a conversation about which sedatives are available. Some sedative options include local anesthetic, nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”), oral sedatives, and intravenous sedation.
It is possible for even the most frightened to reduce their fear and learn to have dental treatment in a way that makes them feel safe and calm. If the problem lies in the memory of past experiences that may have been less than good, the best way to overcome those memories and fears is to make new ones. Creating a pattern of good experience can be just the ticket to ridding yourself of any dental visit fears.