Posted by Natalia Silva on Feb 11 2023, 10:14 PM
Do you have dental anxiety? You are not alone. Many adults suffer from dental anxiety. It is natural to be worried or anxious about visiting the dentist. However, it can prevent you from getting the dental care you need.
Choose the right dentist
Going to a new office can be scary if you suffer from dental anxiety or fear. Ask around friends, neighbors, and coworkers for recommendations of a dentist that they like and trust. Schedule an initial appointment to meet the dentist and the staff and get a sense of the office culture. If the dentist doesn’t seem friendly and empathetic to your needs, try someone else.
Speak up about your dental fears
Some people are so afraid of going to the dentist that they avoid making the appointments altogether. This avoidance can lead to serious and untreated oral health problems.
If you fear going to the dentist, you should mention it during your first appointment. This way, your dentist will know how to help you through your treatment. Talk to your dentist at your next appointment if you’re nervous about the treatments that you will receive. They will do their best to make you comfortable and calm throughout your visit.
Agree on a signal
Agreeing on a signal that will let your dentist know you need a break during treatment can be comforting during longer procedures. Some patients use a hand squeeze or finger push, while others raise their hands. Whatever you choose, make sure your dentist can see your signals. If you are unfamiliar with their office’s policies regarding breaks and free time, be sure to ask before your appointment begins.
Take a trusted person with you
When going to a new dentist or to the dentist’s office for a routine visit, it can be scary to rely on a stranger when it comes to your oral health. However, taking a friend or family member with you can help ease your nerves. This person can talk to your dentist about the procedure and act as a support system for you. Additionally, this person can be responsible for holding your hand or taking your mind off of the procedure through conversation.
Listening to music or a podcast can be a great way to stay calm and relaxed. You can also bring a stress ball to squeeze while the dentist is working on your teeth. Some dentists even provide iPads or other electronics for you to watch during treatments. Ask your dentist what options they offer before you arrive for your appointment.
Other options for bringing a distraction include taking a book to read or having a friend or family member hold your hand and talk you through the appointment. Bringing a distraction can help you relax during your appointment and alleviate some of your dental fear.
Consider sedation dentistry
Sedation dentistry is a great option for people who struggle with dental anxiety or fear. The medication used to induce sleep and relaxation in people is safe and effective. There are a number of different types of sedation, but the most common type used in dental offices is nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas. Other forms of sedation include oral medications and IV sedation. Talk to your dentist to see which option is best for you.
Oral medications are given to the patient about an hour before their procedure. This medication relaxes the patient and puts them in a dreamlike state. IV sedation is given intravenously by a dentist or nurse through an intravenous catheter. The patient remains awake during the procedure but feels very relaxed and at ease. Many patients have no memory of their treatment afterward and are fast asleep when they go home.
Your dentist may also recommend other forms of relaxation, such as meditation, deep breathing, exercise, and the avoidance of stimulants like coffee before your treatment. There are many different techniques available to help calm your nerves before and during your dental treatments. Asking your dentist for tips will help you feel more in control during your appointments.
To learn more about good oral health, schedule an appointment right away with Ideal Smiles of Stamford. We are located at 86 Prospect St Suite 300, Stamford, CT 06901. You can also call us at (203) 359-2222 or mail us at [email protected]
86 Prospect St Suite 300, Stamford, CT 06901
MON - TUE 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
WED 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
THU - FRI 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
SAT 8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (203) 359-2222