Does the mere thought of visiting the dentist make you queasy? If anything, you are not alone. Dental phobia and dental anxiety are real. The good news? It is possible to overcome it. This is especially true nowadays that painless dentistry is now something patients have easy access to.
Unlike some phobias that don’t need to be addressed urgently, routine dental appointments are vital to one’s overall health and well-being. There are various reasons for dental fear and anxiety. Some have had a painful experience in the dental chair when they were young and need conscious sedation for children Waimalu HI.
Other possible reasons for dental phobia and dental anxiety include:
- Fear of pain
- Fear of the needle
- Panic when hearing the sound of a drill
- Feeling of embarrassment having someone look into their mouth closely
- Nervousness of having someone checking their mouth
Regardless of the root cause of the dental anxiety and fear, the fact remains that taking care of your dental health is important to your overall well-being.
Top Tips to Cope with Dental Fear and Anxiety
Below are some effective tips that can help you get past your dental fears:
Tip #01: Talk to your dentist about your dental concerns.
Don’t shy away from communicating your fears and concerns to your dentist. Dental anxiety is not rare and dentists are well aware of how to deal with patients with similar issues and concerns. You can also ask them to explain the steps from beginning to end so you know what to expect.
Your dentist can also recommend effective techniques to help you feel relaxed and comfortable during your appointment. Also, don’t hesitate to ask questions if you have any. The more you understand the procedure, the less fear and anxiety you are likely to feel.
Tip #02: Try breathing exercises.
Deep breathing exercises have been known to help your mind relax and helps you feel calmer and more relaxed. Breathing exercises can also minimize stress during your dental appointments. Close your eyes and slowly inhale through your nose. Hold it for a few seconds then inhale through your mouth. Repeat several times until you feel calm.
Tips #03: Try meditation.
For most people, their anxiety worsens while they are in the waiting room or once they sit in the dental chair. In similar instances, meditation can help reduce stress and promote calmness. Meditation is a state of heightened awareness and relaxation that can help you, even while you are sitting in your dentist’s office.
Tip #04: Consider getting anxiety-relieving medications.
If you have moderate anxiety, your dentist might prescribe short-acting anti-anxiety medication to minimize anxiety before your dental appointment. Often, you will be asked to take the medication at least an hour before your dental appointment. There are also over-the-counter medications that can reduce anxiety and provide pain relief.
Some dentists may also use nitrous oxide (also known as laughing gas), an odorless and colorless gas before or during your dental procedure. Check with your dental provider if nitrous oxide would be right for your case.
Tip #05: Try hypnosis.
For those with severe dental anxiety, hypnotherapy might be an option. Hypnotherapy involves the quieting of the conscious mind and the creation of a state of calmness. A hypnotherapist will use the power of suggestion to help curb your fears and anxiety.
Tip #06: Bring a friend.
The support of a trusted friend or relative can also help calm your mind and ease your fears. Check with your dentist if you can have someone accompany you in the exam room. Even if you can’t talk during your appointment, the presence of someone you are familiar with can help you feel comfortable, relaxed, and safe.