Easing Dental Anxiety: Coping Methods that Can Help

Easing Dental Anxiety: Coping Methods that Can Help

Posted by Misako Hirota on Feb 17 2023, 09:56 PM

Dental anxiety is a fear of visiting the dentist. While some level of anxiety is normal, excessive fear can make it difficult for you to obtain necessary dental care. If you have dental anxiety, here are a few tips that may help you.

Speak Up About Your Fears

If you suffer from dental fear or anxiety, share that information with your dentist. He or she wants to help you feel comfortable and safe during your visits. When you share your fears, your dentist can make adjustments to accommodate you during your appointment. For example, if you hate the sound of the drill, your dentist might work on your teeth using an air scaler, which doesn’t generate sound. If you know that the sound of suction makes you uncomfortable, you can ask your dentist to forego the suction altogether. Or, you might ask for breaks during the appointment so that you can leave for a few minutes to regain your composure.

Also, let your dentist know about any medications you take each day so that he or she is aware of potential drug interactions. That way, he or she can take any necessary precautions to keep you as safe and comfortable as possible during the procedures.

Agree On A Signal

Tell your dentist about any fears you have so that they can work with you to create a successful experience. Some patients prefer a signal that lets them know to take a moment to breathe before the next part of the procedure starts. Make sure you both agree on the signal in advance so that you know what to look for and what to do when you receive it.

Take a Trusted Person With You

Ask a friend or family member to join you at your dental appointment. Having someone you trust with you during your appointment can help you feel more relaxed by taking your mind off of your fears and discomforts. They can also help you communicate with your dentist if you become too nervous about speaking. Many dental offices today provide the option of bringing one trusted person along with you to your appointment.

Bring Distractions

If the thought of sitting through an appointment makes you anxious, consider bringing a distraction to keep you busy during the procedure. Take a book to read or a magazine to flip through while the dentist works on your teeth. Alternatively, bring a music player to listen to your favorite songs. You can also bring along a friend or relative who can act as your distraction provider and keep you company in the dental chair.

Consider Sedation Dentistry

If you have a severe fear of the dentist and have a procedure planned, consider asking about sedation dentistry. This can help you feel more relaxed and comfortable during your appointment. Your dentist may prescribe an oral sedative to take the night before your procedure and another one to take the morning of. If this doesn’t work for you, ask about nitrous oxide or IV sedation. You’ll need to bring someone with you to drive you home after the procedure is finished.

A visit to your dentist in National City, CA, is the perfect way to start your journey to better oral health! Call M.Hirota, DMD, at (619) 474-4695 today to schedule your next appointment or make your next new patient appointment online. We look forward to helping you achieve a healthier, happier smile!

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