It’s fairly common for people to have a fear of visiting their dentist. However, not seeing your dentist regularly can cause serious implications for your oral and overall health. Because it’s so critical to maintain routine appointments with your dentist, it’s important for those with dental fears to work through them. Check out these suggestions for how to cope with dental anxiety! Hopefully, they’ll help you face your dental fears so you never have to miss a dental appointment with your Reno dentist again.
#1 Share Your Fears with Your Dentist
One of the best ways to start tackling your dental fears is to share those feelings with your dentist. Dental anxiety is fairly common and a good Reno dentist will be able to help ease your fears while you’re in their care. Be sure to tell them about any past traumas or bad experiences you’ve had at the dentist and let them know what aspects of dental treatments or appointments that make you uneasy. Also, vocalizing your fears can help reduce your anxiety and will help the doctor determine the best form of treatment for you.
#2 Bring Moral Support
Another way to cope with dental anxiety is to bring a friend or family member with you to your dentist’s appointment. Their presence and support can help you feel more comfortable, making the appointment less scary. Remember there’s strength in numbers, but try to bring just one extra person with you, someone that will really help put your mind at ease.
#3 Take Time-Outs
Sometimes tackling a difficult project in smaller increments can make the task seem less intimidating. Similarly to this idea, taking breaks throughout your appointment or treatment can make a dental visit less nerve-wracking. Taking in small doses of the experience can help prevent stress from becoming overwhelming and gives you time to relax in between the different phases of your treatment.
#4 Use Distractions
There’s nothing wrong with creating distractions during stressful situations, especially when you have to remain in one place for an extended period. Just be careful to ensure your distractions don’t inhibit the dentist’s ability to do their job. Some easy and effective distractions you can use are watching a movie on your phone or tablet, listening to music, wearing tinted glasses, and playing with a fidget spinner or stress ball. These won’t get in your dentist’s way and they’re great at keeping your senses focused on things other than your mouth.
#5 Focus Your Breathing
Focused breathing techniques have proven to be an effective method for alleviating stress. For this to really help, start controlling your breathing before your appointment and continue as needed throughout your appointment. Some focused breathing techniques you can try may include abdominal breathing and long exhales. Also, be sure to ask for a break if you’re feeling overwhelmed or need a minute to catch your breath.
#6 Choose a Compatible Dentist
For you to truly feel comfortable with your dentist you need to have a compatible relationship with them. Coping with dental anxiety will be much harder to do if your dentist also makes you feel uneasy. You should trust that your dentist is qualified, professional, and ultimately good at what they do. A dental office that is mismanaged and chaotic can also affect how comfortable you are visiting your dentist. So, be sure to find a dental office and dentist that makes you feel at ease.
#7 Choose a Low-Stress Appointment Time
Appointment times can also affect how anxious you are to visit your dentist. Having to deal with heavy traffic before your appointment can make you more anxious and for some, missing work is a big problem. Be sure to schedule your appointment at a time that is convenient for you. This will help lessen stressors you have direct control over so you have just one less thing to worry about.
#8 Try Sedation Dentistry
If the methods above don’t help you cope with your dental anxiety, then ask your Reno dentist if they offer sedation dentistry services. Sedation dentistry is usually very mild, but it has profound effects on patients who struggle with dental fears. Most sedation methods are administered orally, either through a low dose of Halcion which is a pill or through nitrous oxide or “laughing gas”. This method will require someone to be there to drive you home after your appointment, but they do typically wear off fairly quickly.
Connect with Reno Dental Associates
If you’re nervous about visiting your dentist, then try these helpful tips for coping with your dental anxiety. Regular dental appointments are crucial for maintaining your health, so you must work through your fears. Reno Dental Associates offers general and cosmetic dental services for families in the Reno-Sparks area. To learn more about the dental services from Reno Dental Associates, connect with us today!