Dental phobia or anxiety is a common phenomenon. But severe dental phobia can keep you from going to the dentist and getting the treatment you need. If dental anxiety is preventing you from getting the dental care you need, we can help.
Speak up about your fears
It’s actually quite common for people to experience anxiety when going to the dentist. In fact, as many as 30% of Americans have some fear of the dentist, so you’re not alone!
It’s important that you speak up and let your dentist know about your fear. They can discuss some options that may help ease your discomfort before you go into the appointment. Some dentists may offer sedation dentistry, which will make you feel relaxed throughout your entire visit. Or if you need to go into the office for simple cleaning, they may offer nitrous oxide as an option. If you haven’t visited the dentist in some time, they do understand if you feel uncomfortable and will help you overcome it.
Agree on a signal
Agree on a signal that you can use when you’re feeling anxious and need a break. This way, your dentist will know you need a moment to feel calmer before your appointment continues. This can also help break the ice between the dentist and the patient. It lets your provider know that you’re nervous and allows them to explain their procedures to you in a way that makes you more comfortable.
Take a trusted person with you
Having someone you trust with you can help ease anxiety and help you have a more pleasant experience at the dental office. This can be a spouse or relative, or it could also be a friend or co-worker. It’s helpful to have an extra set of ears to help you remember all the information that you are given during your visits. This person can also help hold your hand during a procedure if you prefer.
Distractions can help calm your nerves during dental treatments. While you wait in the reception area or for your appointment to begin, bring a book to read or some earbuds to listen to your favorite music. You can also watch a movie on your smartphone. Be sure to discuss with your dentist if it’s OK to bring these items into the operatory.
Having a distracting item in hand can also help you relax while you’re in treatment. You can focus on something other than what’s happening in your mouth. Plus, you won’t have to worry about forgetting what the dentist says because the item is right there in front of you.
Some dental offices offer televisions and other patient entertainment options to help you stay distracted waiting and during treatment. Discuss with your dentist if his or her office has these amenities for you to take advantage of. You can then request the distraction of your choice while waiting for your appointment or treatment to start.
Consider sedation dentistry
Sedation dentistry involves the use of medications to calm patients during dental procedures. This can help the patient feel calm and less afraid throughout their appointment. Sedation can be helpful for those patients who have anxiety or fear surrounding going to the dentist. Talk to your dentist to see if you could benefit from this type of treatment.
Visit Jeanne V. Devi DDS at 595 E Colorado Blvd Suite 603, Pasadena, CA 91101, for the best dental care, or call us at (626) 795-2544 to book an appointment.