Dental anxiety is a problem that impacts many Americans. However, avoiding visits to the dentist can cause significant oral health problems to occur. If your anxiety causes you to avoid the dentist, it can lead to serious issues in your life. It is important to take the steps to overcome your dental anxiety in order to protect the health of your teeth and improve your quality of life.
Identify your Fears
In order to effectively deal with your dental anxiety, it is important to take the steps to figure out why you have such overwhelming fear of the dentist. In some situations, dental anxiety is a result of a painful or traumatic past experience with the dentist. Other dental anxiety is caused by uncertainty or a lack of knowledge regarding specific procedures. Determining the cause of your dental anxiety allows you to take the best steps to reduce your dental anxiety.
What is Dental Anxiety?
Dental anxiety is the term for when an individual experiences significant anxiety when it comes to dental visits. It is often called dental phobia, as well. Understanding that you have dental anxiety can go a long way toward ensuring that you are able to handle your anxiety and improve the health of your teeth.
Avoid Caffeine Consumption
Excessive caffeine consumption can significantly increase anxiety, due to the impact that caffeine has on the body. It is important to refrain from consuming caffeine prior to your dental visit. This can help you to remain more relaxed and calm throughout your dental visit. If you experience high levels of anxiety on a regular basis, it can be incredibly beneficial to reduce your overall caffeine intake.
Talk to your Dentist
It is incredibly important to ensure that your dentist and their staff are aware of your dental anxiety. This will allow them to provide you with valuable guidance to simplify your dental visit. Your dentist and their office staff are likely experienced in dealing with patients that regularly experience dental anxiety. It can be incredibly helpful to consult with your dentist prior to your dental visit.
Distracting yourself often helps to ensure that you are able to relax during the process. Bringing headphones and listening to music or an audiobook can help to distract you from what’s happening during your dental visit. Many dentists also have TVs in their office in order to provide an additional distraction. These distractions can help to reduce your anxiety and improve your experience.
Do Some Research
Understanding each step of the dental procedure will help you to know what to expect from your dental visit. This often goes a long way toward reducing your anxiety throughout the process. It can be particularly helpful to ask your dentist to thoroughly explain the process for you, which will ensure that you are more comfortable with the process.
Bring a Loved One
It can be especially beneficial to bring a loved one along with you to your dental visit. This helps to provide you with emotional support that often makes you feel much calmer throughout the process. In many situations, tasks feel far less daunting when you complete them with someone you trust at your side. Your loved ones can help to reduce the likelihood of significant anxiety during your dental visit. However, you should also ensure that your loved one doesn’t share your fear of the dentist, as another person’s anxiety can amplify your own.
Ask About Medication
There are often multiple methods to help you relax during your dental visit. Many dentists are capable of offering sedation services to help handle your dental anxiety. Contact your dentist prior to your appointment to consult with them about your dental anxiety. They will be able to provide you with information about their potential solutions for handling your fear about your dental visit.
Take Care of your Teeth
It is critical to ensure that you take appropriate care of your teeth to help control your dental anxiety. When you fail to take proper care of your teeth, it is likely that issues will simply escalate. Having these problems rectified is often far less comfortable, which can amplify your emotions of anxiety. When you follow a great oral hygiene routine and visit your dentist regularly for cleanings, you can prevent substantial issues from arising. Cutting back on sugar and quitting smoking can help to improve the health of your teeth.
Find a Dentist that Makes you Comfortable
It is important to obtain the services of a dentist that helps to make you feel at ease. This dynamic goes a long way toward controlling your anxiety and ensuring a more positive experience. It can be helpful to ask for recommendations from your loved ones to find a dentist that you will be able to work comfortably with. It is important to ensure that you get along well with your dentist and that they make you feel more comfortable.
Use the Right Hand Signals
Talk to your dentist prior to your service to develop specific hand signals. This will allow you to inform your dentist when you are feeling overwhelmed and want to take a break. When you follow this method of communication, you will feel like you maintain much more control throughout the process. This often goes a long way toward easing your anxiety levels.
Practice Relaxation Strategies
Becoming proficient at relaxation strategies can help to prevent anxiety and help you to control negative emotions. Breathing strategies and meditation are great practices to implement in your life. Practicing these prior to your dental visit will allow you to successfully use them to control your anxiety while in the dental office.
Dental anxiety is a very real issue that impacts many people. It is important to understand how to overcome your anxiety in order to obtain the services that you need to protect the health of your smile. Here at Bismarck Advanced Dental Implants, we are dedicated to providing you with a comfortable, effective, and pleasant dental visit. To learn more about managing your dental anxiety when you visit us, contact our expert team today!