24 Mar 5 Ways to Calm Your Dental Anxiety Before Your Appointment
If the thought of visiting the dentist office makes you feel panicky, you likely have dental anxiety. This can lead to dental care avoidance in many people. We understand the fear you feel and are here to help you cope and overcome your anxiety during your procedure. Before your next dental appointment, there are a few things you can do to help yourself relax and feel less anxious.
Talk to Your Dentist
Before you make an appointment, call the office and ask to speak with your dentist ahead of time. This will allow you to ask any questions that you have from the comfort of your home. Be honest with your dentist about any dental related anxiety you have. Also, if your dental anxiety is related to not understanding what to expect, don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s common to fear the unknown. But often, when you know what to expect in detail, the experience becomes less frightening. Share past experiences that caused you to be anxious or scared with your dental professionals. Helping understand the why behind your fear can help them reassure you. If you don’t have a specific reason to be anxious, you simply are, that is okay as well. Simply explain how you feel and allow your dentist to help you.
Avoid Googling Your Procedures or Dental Issues
While educating yourself on a procedure can be positive, sometimes doing a search can yield unexpected and alarming results. You will see every horror story out there, which often does not even apply to your situation. Therefore, to ensure you don’t heighten your anxiety, stay off the internet. Ask your dentist to explain the procedure instead as mentioned above. Listen to their guidance as they know the real-world effects of any procedure they perform.
Confide in a Friend or Therapist
If you have a friend you feel comfortable confiding in, share your dental anxiety fears with them before your appointment. Make sure this friend is someone who understands or sympathizes with your fear and won’t make you feel foolish for being anxious. Choosing a friend who has also had dental related anxiety is even better because they can truly say they personally understand what you feel. Often, just talking your fears out, saying them out loud with a trusted confidante, will help you calm down. If you have a relationship with a trusted licensed therapist, they, too, are a source of encouragement when it comes to dental anxiety. Don’t be afraid to share your fears with your therapist during your next session. Consider scheduling a therapy session prior to your dental appointment to reinforce coping techniques and encourage you to remain calm during your upcoming visit.
Embrace Yoga & Meditation to Reduce Anxiety
The ancient practice of yoga and focused meditation, which originated in India some 5,000 years ago, is still applicable today as a tool against anxiety. To practice yoga, you join your mind, body and spirit through focused relaxation, meditation and movements. Although you can use yoga as a means of exercise, raising your heart rate and working your muscles, it can also be used to manage anxiety, panic and fears. Scheduling a yoga class right before your dental appointment is a great idea as is practicing yoga regularly to create a calmer presence overall. Just ensure your classes focus mostly on breathing, meditation and mindfulness instead of only on physical movement if you want to achieve the anxiety related help yoga can provide.
Try Sedation Dentistry
Finally, if the above suggestions sound great to you, but you just don’t know how well they will work, or perhaps the level of your dental anxiety is off the charts, you can opt for sedation dentistry to help you through the process. From nitrous oxide which helps you relax or oral sedation which eases severe anxiety, you have options. Talk to your dentist to find out which option will work best for you. Expect to give a medical history and to discuss current medications to make sure you’re a good candidate for dental sedation.
Contact us at Dental Brothers to learn more about sedation dentistry and other options for coping with dental anxiety. We want you to know that no matter what, we will do what it takes to ease your mind and make you feel comfortable coming to our offices.