If you feel nervous about undergoing dental work, you are not alone. About 20% of dental patients of all ages feel fear related to going to their dentist’s office. This anxiety can lead to heightened stress and strain. It may make people want to skip going to the dentist altogether.
But if you do not get the routine dental care that you need, you could face a major risk of suffering a dental emergency that may require more extensive dental work. If you take action, you can combat dental fear. Then you can receive dental services that will preserve your smile. Read on to learn three ways that you can reduce dental anxiety and have a more positive experience at your dentist’s office.
Practice Relaxation Methods
If you notice that you feel nervous before a dental appointment, try some relaxation activities that can reduce stress and leave you feeling calm. Deep breathing exercises, for instance, can relieve tension so that you feel relaxed when you arrive at your dentist’s office.
You should also wear comfortable clothing to your appointment that you can lie back in the dentist’s chair with ease in. This way, tight or tugging clothes will not add further irritation and make you feel more stressed during your dental procedure.
Bring headphones and music to your dental appointment if you like. Listening to music that makes you happy can drown out the sounds of the dentist’s equipment and keep you in a good mood. Take note of what makes you feel calm and apply it to your routine before your appointment.
Maintain Open Communication with Your Dentist
Your dentist can help you feel calm in their care, but you must tell them if you feel anxiety. They have training that can help relax you in the dentist’s chair. But they will not know to help you if you do not talk to them.
Open communication with your dentist can go both ways as well. Your dentist can tell you what to expect from your dental work so that you can know what will happen during your appointment. It may make you feel less anxious with this foresight.
Some people might prefer not knowing about the dental work ahead of time. Either way, tell your dentist about your comfort levels. Then they can work with you to ensure you feel at ease during your appointment.
Consider Dental Sedation
Modern dentistry prioritizes the comfort of the patient and offers specific medicine that can induce a calm sensation during a dental appointment. Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is a type of dental sedation. The patient can breathe this medicine before their dental work. And then it generates a euphoric feeling without altering the patient’s consciousness.
The treatment is completely safe, and the effects wear off when the patient breathes normal air again. Ask your dentist if sedation dentistry can prove effective in your case of dental anxiety.