Dental phobia or fear of going to the dentist is quite common. Studies have shown about 15% to 50% of the population has dental phobia. Dental phobia can be dangerous as it can prevent you from going to the dentist for regular checkups. It can even result in gum disease and tooth decay. You can ease your fears by talking to your dentist and discussing your dental phobia with him or her. Here are a few helpful tips.
Discuss your fears with your dentist
He or she will be the most qualified person to help ease your anxiety. Your dentist may suggest ways to overcome anxiety and stress, such as relaxation techniques and/or breathing exercises.
You may feel uncomfortable talking about your fears and concerns but doing so can help ease some of the pain associated with them. Your dentist will provide recommendations and solutions to help calm your nerves. Dentists realize that dental procedures can be uncomfortable at times. They are trained to recognize any discomfort or anxiety you may feel throughout your visit and are dedicated to helping you feel as comfortable as possible. Don’t hesitate to ask your dentist questions to ease your concerns. If a certain treatment makes you nervous, your dentist may recommend taking medications in order to relax during your visit. They can also help you determine the best form of dental sedation for you.
It is important to have open lines of communication with your dentist. Communication is important in any relationship, including your relationship with your teeth. When you inform your dentist about any fears or anxieties you may have, he or she can tailor the treatment to fit your specific needs. For example, if you fear needles, they can administer local anesthesia to eliminate discomfort from the injection. Your dentist will work with you to provide the best possible experience. Even though you may experience some dental fear, it is important to discuss these feelings with your dentist beforehand so you can work together to find a solution to reduce your anxiety.
Agree on a Signal
Agree on a signal with your dentist. A hand signal or phrase can be agreed upon with your dentist for you to use during procedures to help indicate that you need a break or that the procedure needs to be slowed down. Taking breaks is also very important for those patients who experience anxiety during treatments. Breaks will give patients a chance to relax and regroup. When patients are calmer, dentists are able to work more efficiently and can make visits shorter.
Bring a distraction
Distractions can also help keep a patient’s mind occupied during the procedure. Bringing headphones can allow patients to listen to their favorite songs or soothing sounds that will distract them from what is happening during their procedure. Other distractions include bringing books to read or playing cards to play while in the waiting room. Distractions will also help ensure that patients don’t check the clock while they are in the examination room. This can lead to increased anxiety and fearful thoughts. Keeping the mind distracted will help make the procedure seem like it goes by faster.
Consider getting sedation dentistry
Sedation dentistry is another way to ease fear and reduce anxiety while undergoing dental treatments. Nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation are two of the most common forms of sedation used during dental procedures. Oral medication is taken prior to the appointment to ensure that the patient is relaxed throughout their visit. These medications may have side effects such as lightheadedness, drowsiness, or nausea. Before considering nitrous oxide or oral conscious sedation, it is important to discuss with a dentist to determine the best form of pain management for you.
To learn more, schedule an appointment to meet with the best dentist Albuquerque, NM 87111, today!