Dental fear or anxiety is very common, and it affects people of all ages. People avoid or postpone their dental visits due to dental anxiety. This leads to poor oral health and an increased risk of other health problems.
Speak to your dentist about your fear
The best way to overcome your dental fear is to talk about it with your dentist. This allows him or her to fully understand your concerns and find a way to deal with them. Dentists are there to help you and want the best for you, so don't be afraid to let them know how you are feeling.
Agree upon a dental signal
If you suffer from dental anxiety, have a talk with your dentist about your fears and agree on a signal you can use when you need help or a break.
Bring your trusted friend or relative
If the idea of sitting in the dentist's chair makes you nervous, it may help to bring a friend or family member along for your visit. Your confidante can help alleviate your anxiety by reassuring you that there's nothing to be afraid of and that everything will be alright. This can help to keep you calm and focused on your dental health instead of on your nerves. The key is to find someone who can also remain silent and won't distract the dentist during your treatment. Your helper should be able to help you to a chair while you regain your composure and then take you back to the exam room when you're ready.
Bring distractions like music, movies, etc.
Taking a distraction can help ease your nerves. Bringing some headphones or a movie to watch can help the time pass and keep you distracted from any pain you may experience from the procedure. Having something to focus on can keep your mind off the procedure and help distract you from feeling any anxiety that you might be feeling before a procedure. If your dentist has things for you to do in the lobby, take advantage of those things that will help keep your mind off of the procedure and give you something else to think about. This can help you be more comfortable and relaxed during the procedure.
If you would rather not bring an audio device, bringing a friend or family member along can also help to distract you and help you remain calm during your appointment.
Consider sedation dentistry
Sedation dentistry decreases the amount of stress and discomfort you feel during dental treatments, such as fillings or extractions. Oral sedation allows you to breathe normally and respond to questions during your procedure. Even patients who get injections of anesthesia feel minimal pain or discomfort when they are sedated. Some patients even doze off, which is ideal if you need a lengthy treatment process completed. The relief from the anxiety that sedation provides may be equally as important as the decrease in pain levels for you. Talk to your provider about your options for sedation and when it might be right for you. If you are anxious about an upcoming visit, we invite you to call to schedule a consultation so that we can talk about your concerns before your visit.
Please reach out to our dental practice in Kansas City, KS, to have a consultation with our dentists, Dr. Moreno and Dr. Tejada. Please call us at (913) 647-1900 or schedule an online consultation, and we'll guide you further.