Easing Dental Anxiety: Coping Methods that Can Help

Posted by The Dental Centre Apr 02, 2023

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Dental fear is a common condition that affects people of all ages. Dental fear is so common that it affects about 75% of people. Dental fear refers to a feeling of anxiety or dread related to visiting the dentist. Dental fear can have a negative impact on your oral health. It can prevent you from getting the dental care that you need. If you have dental fear, here are a few tips to ease them.

Discuss your fear with your dentist

Talk to your dentist about your dental fear or anxiety. Your dentist can suggest ways to overcome it and guide you through the procedures. If necessary, they may even opt for sedation dentistry to help you relax during the procedure. By discussing your concerns openly, your dentist can help you overcome your fear and have a better experience at the dentist’s office.

Agree on a signal with your dentist

Talk to your dentist about your anxiety and fears before the appointment so that he/she can address them properly. This way, your anxiety may be reduced, and you can focus more on the procedure rather than feeling anxious throughout the appointment.

It is recommended to let your dental team know beforehand if you are feeling anxious about the procedures so that the team can take necessary measures to keep you calm and relaxed during the treatment. A good way to alleviate your concerns is to discuss them in detail with your dentist. Once you are done discussing the procedure, and your fear is gone, agree on a signal to indicate to the dental staff if you need a break or to stop the procedure. This might help you to relax a little as you will not be asked to stop the treatment abruptly.

Take a friend or family member for support

Having someone you trust in the room while undergoing dental procedures can ease your anxiety. Ask your dentist if he or she allows a companion in the treatment room with you or if you can bring a family member or friend with you. Bringing along a loved one can also reduce any feelings of self-consciousness you may have during a procedure. Additionally, having an extra set of hands to hold your hand can help you feel more relaxed throughout your visit. It’s also a good idea to let your dentist know if you are nervous about seeing him or her for the first time, so you can discuss your concerns together.

Bring distractions to occupy your mind during procedures

While a dentist provides their patients with the anesthesia required to reduce discomfort during the treatment, some patients still suffer from extreme anxiety before a procedure. To avoid this from happening, bring a distraction to keep your mind busy and occupied during a procedure. For example, you can bring your headphones and listen to calming music or bring along a book to read to distract yourself while getting the dental treatment done.

Consider sedation dentistry

If you suffer from dental anxiety or fear, visit your dentist to discuss the option of sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry involves the use of medication that induces a state of relaxation during a procedure. Thanks to sedation dentistry, patients can undergo dental procedures without experiencing any discomfort or pain. Sedatives are administered orally or through inhalation methods. Nitrous oxide and oral sedatives are the most common methods of sedation. Your dentist will decide the best method of administering sedation based on the severity of your anxiety and the procedure being performed. 

The Dental Centre, located in Austin, is equipped with expert dentists and modern amenities. To learn more about good oral care habits, call us at (512) 892-7800 and schedule an appointment with the dentist. 

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