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8 Ways To Overcome Anxiety At Your Next Dental Appointment

Jan 08, 2022
Over 30 million Americans claim some sort of anxiety upon visiting the dentist. Whether it’s due to a bad experience, fear of pain, or anxiety about procedures to be performed,...

Over 30 million Americans claim some sort of anxiety upon visiting the dentist. Whether it’s due to a bad experience, fear of pain, or anxiety about procedures to be performed, receiving dental care is a necessary aspect of self-care in order to ensure optimal health.

Why regular dental care is essential to good health

Just like other areas of your body, your mouth is teeming with bacteria that can make their way into your bloodstream if you don’t take steps to brush, floss, and remove this harmful material from your mouth. Poor oral health has been linked to conditions such as anxiety and depression, diabetes, and even cancer. Making regular visits to your dentist will not only keep your teeth and mouth healthier, but it will also help to safeguard you against the development of diseases such as these.

Dealing with dental anxiety

Whether headed into your dentist for a routine cleaning, or if you have crowns and root canals to tackle, don’t hesitate due to unfounded dental anxiety. Your dentist is well-equipped and ready to handle your issue while keeping you as comfortable as possible. Follow these simple tips and suggestions for overcoming dental anxiety and making your way toward better oral health:

1. Find a dental practitioner that works with dental phobias

A good dentist understands the avoidance and dental anxiety that many patients have as they step into the chair. Many of these dentists provide tools, strategies, and even medications to help eliminate some of your stress as you undergo care. Shop around to find a practitioner that you feel comfortable with, and this will do wonders to reduce your stress as you undergo treatment.

2. Use relaxation techniques and medications

Use of relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and medications to help relax you will help to quiet the mind, reduce stress, and put you in a better frame of mind to receive care. The most common cause of dental anxiety is fear of the unknown, and this arises from overthinking or projecting your worst fears before you’ve even had a chance to experience care. Prior to your procedure, put on some relaxing music, engage in some meditation and deep breathing, and see if it doesn’t improve your experience before, during, and after.

3. Bring a support system

Don’t want to go alone? Bring a supportive friend or family member that can talk you off the ledge when they see your dental anxiety taking root. A friend can handle your personal effects, drive you to and from your appointment, and be a calming presence that you can lean on for support. Perhaps your friend even has some “happy endings”, stories they can tell you to encourage you that dental stories do turn out all right in the end.

4. Arrive early

Rushing to an appointment can rattle the most centered individual. Plan your day around your appointment; drive the most direct route, arrive early, and if possible, craft a list of questions to ask your dental professionals to help ease your anxiety. The more prepared you can make yourself for your procedure, the less likely you’ll suffer from undue anxiety and stress.

5. Disclose your fears to your dentist

Letting your dentist know about your anxieties and fears is the best way to allow the two of you to find solutions to them. Have a conversation with him/her prior to your appointment, and see if the two of you can craft a personalized management plan to help calm you and ready you for your experience in the chair.

6. Ask for sedation if necessary

If you have tried other dental anxiety management techniques and they don’t seem to be as effective as you’d like, ask your dentist if they have appropriate sedation options for you to get you through your appointment. Quite often, those who ask for sedation at their first few appointments quickly realize that it is not needed. Mild sedation will allow you to have a more enjoyable experience, and you’ll be more likely to draw upon this memory when rescripting your dental care journey.

7. Take breaks if needed

If stress and anxiety around your care is too much for you to handle all at once, plan in some breaks. This may involve your dental professional leaving the room briefly to give you a chance to breathe deep, or it may involve breaking up more significant work into smaller sessions, allowing you to chip away at dental deficiencies. Create this plan with your dentist in advance so they can plan adequate time for your appointment.

8. Make your next appointment before you leave their office

Dental avoidance is exacerbated when a regular appointment schedule is not adhered to. We keep putting our care off until painful consequences become evident, and dental care needed to restore oral health is more difficult. Making and keeping regular appointments is the best way to minimize dental complications and learn to overcome your dental anxiety.

Trinity Dental Cares: Your Answer For A More Comfortable Dental Experience

Look no further, you’ve found the best dental care in Scottsdale AZ. Trinity Dental Cares is passionate about providing clean, safe, comfortable dental care that helps to reduce your anxiety and fear of visiting the dentist. Don’t wait any longer; make your next appointment today, and we’ll help you get back on the road to optimal dental health and wellness!