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Are you supposed to be seeing the dentist today but you’re feeling afraid or panicked?
According to WebMD, about 9-20% of adults experience dentist anxiety that gets so severe they avoid going altogether. The last thing you want is to cancel your appointment because you’re too anxious or scared to go through with the procedure.
We want to help you manage your anxiety and not feel embarrassed by it. The more overwhelmed you feel, the harder it becomes to get through.
Keep reading to learn strategies to help you face your dental surgery with confidence.
How to Manage Dentist Anxiety
Opt for Sedation Dentistry
Dentist anxiety can be managed through sedation dentistry which is offered by a local sedation dentist. Sedation dentistry offers many benefits to those suffering from dental anxiety. It is not only extremely comfortable but it also provides patients with a sense of relaxation and control over their treatment.
During sedation dentistry, the patient is given a small number of sedatives to help them relax and feel comfortable during their dental procedure. Sedation dentistry can also provide pain relief and reduce the amount of time patients spend in the dental office.
Sedation dentistry is a safe, effective way to manage dental anxiety, and can be used in combination with other forms of dentistry. With proper planning, this type of dentistry can provide immense relief and comfort for those suffering from dental anxiety.
If you suffer from anxiety at the dentist, then the best way to manage it is to remain patient. In the waiting room, practice distraction techniques such as reading or listening to music. Dwell on positive thoughts instead of negative ones, and maintain positive self-talk.
During the appointment, try to keep your senses relaxed with calming music, and listen carefully to the directions provided by your dentist. Most importantly, make sure to be patient with yourself and the entire process, even if things don’t go as planned.
Despite any anxiety, remember these appointments are important and can make a huge difference in your oral health. Work with your dentist to find the best way to reduce your stress, and remember to be patient with yourself.
Take Deep Breathes
One way to manage this anxiety is to take deep breaths. Focus on taking deep, calming breaths that fill your entire body with oxygen and clear your head of all anxious thoughts. Consider counting your breaths from 1 to 10, and focus on feeling your body expanding with each inhale and constricting with each exhale.
This practice allows your brain to get enough oxygen for the blood vessels and increases the flow of new and fresh blood and energy throughout your body, providing you with a sense of control and relaxation.
Ask the Dentist for Short Breaks
Taking a break during your first dentist visit doesn’t necessarily mean that you are uncooperative, in fact, it can be necessary for those experiencing anxiety. During your breaks, you can close your eyes and focus on something calming. This can help to refocus your thoughts and relax your body, helping you to have a more positive experience overall with the dentist.
Talking to the dentist about options for managing your anxiety can also be useful, such as providing a signal that you need a break by raising your hand. With the right strategies, you can feel more comfortable and relaxed during your dental visits.
Inform Your Dentist About Your Fear
It is important to inform your dentist about your fear. Doing so will give your dentist the opportunity to give a tailored treatment plan to meet your needs.
Your dentist can recommend relaxation techniques, like listening to calming music, to help you feel more at ease. Your dentist can also work with you to find a comfortable position during the procedure to ensure that you are as relaxed as possible.
Explaining your fears will ensure that your dentist can take the necessary steps for a successful, stress-free appointment. By openly discussing your fears, your dentist can help you find the best solutions to make your appointment as anxiety-free as possible.
Allow Yourself Plenty of Time to Relax
Another approach is by allowing yourself plenty of time to relax before an appointment. This could include activities such as listening to calming music, reading, writing, or engaging in some light exercise.
Allowing yourself at least an hour of peace and quiet to wind down will help reduce your anxiety levels, making it easier to visit the dentist. Make sure to pick activities that you enjoy and really allow yourself time to focus inwardly on your body and mind.
Bring a Friend or Family Member
Another way to manage dental pain is to bring along a friend or family member. Having a familiar face there can both give comfort and help ease your worries.
Before your appointment, take some time to verbalize any concerns or fears you may have. This way, your friends or family members can give support or reminders to keep you calm. After your appointment, your friend or family member can help give guidance and reinforcement, if needed.
Find a Dentist That You’re Comfortable With
Finding the right dentist can be difficult, as not all dentists will be the same in their approach to patient care. Research adult dentistry in your area, take into account the feedback from other patients, and consider the atmosphere of the practice.
For example, some dentists use relaxing music, offer scent-free options, or have TVs in the room. Consider the staff’s friendliness and attitude, payment flexibility, and what services they offer. This will also give you a chance to have your questions answered, ensuring that you’re confident that the dentist is the right fit for you.
Fix Dentist Anxiety Today
Dentist anxiety is a very common phenomenon. However, with the right resources and strategy, it is possible to manage it for less stress and anxiety during trips to the dentist.
Some of the tips that you can use are opting for sedation dentistry, being patient, and taking deep breaths. With some practice, you can make your dentist trips easier and more comfortable! Ask your dentist for tips on managing anxiety too.
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