How to Overcome Dental Anxiety
Dental anxiety is a real concern when it comes to keeping your smile healthy. In fact, between 5%-8% of Americans avoid the dentist completely due to these fears. While the negative effects of this avoidance may not be completely obvious right away, not going to the dentist can lead to bad health conditions for your mouth.
What is Dental Anxiety
It is not uncommon to experience some feelings of anxiousness when seeking any kind of medical treatment. However, those experiencing dental anxiety will feel symptoms of anxiety well before their dentist appointment to the extent that they avoid going. Some symptoms of dental anxiety include
- Excessive sweating
- Aggressive behavior
- Panic attacks
- Heart palpitations
- Feeling faint
- Low blood pressure
Don’t let dental anxiety keep you from receiving dental care! Here is how you can battle your dental anxiety to keep your smile healthy.
Communicate with Your Dentist
The first step to overcoming your anxiety is to fully communicate with your dentist. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to voice your fears; dentists are familiar with the anxieties some patients may experience. The right dentist will be very understanding and accommodating of your fears to ensure you are given the proper care providing you with the most comfort. A good practice is to establish a signal with your dentist beforehand to alert them if you are beginning to feel panicked or anxious. Since you likely won’t be able to talk during a procedure, discuss raising your hand or a similar sign to express you need a break. Communication with your dentist will go a long way to ensure you are comfortable.
Breathing Exercises and Meditation
A great practice before you show up to the dentist is to take some time to fully relax. This can get you in the right headspace before facing the dentist. Breathing techniques, stretching, and meditation are all great ideas that can reduce stress and anxiety.
Bring Some Distractions with You
Sometimes the best way to reduce anxiety is to take your mind off the stressful situation. Do you have certain music that calms you down? It may be a good idea to bring this with you to listen to during the procedure (as long as it won’t interfere with the dentist’s work). Besides this, a stress ball or fidget toy could help to reduce anxiety.
Bring a Loved One with You
You don’t have to face your fears alone! Don’t be afraid to bring a friend or loved one with you to the dentist. Having someone you trust to wait with you in the waiting room and provide a comforting presence can go a long way to reducing anxiety.
Ask About Sedation Options
If the thought of attending the dentist is overwhelming to you, then sedation dentistry may be the best option. Different sedation levels are available to make your dentist visit as smooth as possible. Some options still leave the patient fully conscious and relaxed while others put the patient completely under. To see which option is best for you, contact your dentist!
Grimes Dentistry Will Keep You Comfortable
Don’t risk disease and pain because you are too anxious to go to the dentist. Grimes Dentistry ensures our patients feel protected and safe as we deliver the highest quality dental care possible. Call now to see how we can help relieve your anxiety and treat your smile!
Comments are closed.