It doesn’t matter if you only had positive experiences so far, you can still be afraid of the dentist and reluctant to schedule your next appointment.
Dental anxiety is more common than you can imagine. It doesn’t matter if you only had positive experiences so far, you can still be afraid of the dentist and reluctant to schedule your next appointment. It has to do with human nature. We tend to be fearful of the things that we can’t control. Add to the mix the thought of the pain that one might experience in the dentist chair or the embarrassment of having bad teeth, and you can see why so many people avoid seeing the dentist.
Before anything, it is important to find a dentist that is empathetic and can help ease your anxiety. They can share some tricks with you, explain everything that will happen, and let you get accustomed to the environment. Here are 5 tips to help you cope with dental anxiety.
Accept That You Are Afraid
The first step to dealing with your anxiety is understanding your fear and accepting it. Try to understand what’s causing it and write it down. Talk to your dentist about it as he might help you find the right ways to manage it.
Some people think that facing their fears means not talking about them and pushing through procedures that make them feel uneasy. They are just repressing. A healthier approach would be talking with your dentist before the appointment and letting him know about your anxiety. The doctor can then create a plan that will account for your fears and help you feel more comfortable during the procedures.
Bring Someone with You
Ask a friend or a family member to accompany you and be by your side during your appointment. Make sure to bring someone who isn’t afraid of the dentist too and who can make the entire experience feel more fun and relaxed.
Schedule Your Appointments Wisely
You probably tend to postpone the appointment until it’s too late, but that’s working to your disadvantage. Instead of scheduling the visit late in the afternoon and spending all day thinking about it and becoming more and more anxious, set the appointment first thing in the morning and get it over with it quickly.
Don’t spend time obsessing over the sound the instruments are making, the size of the needles, and so on. Try to distract yourself by listening to music or podcasts, watching a video or fiddling with a stress ball.
If your anxiety is too intense to control, then sedation might be the right option for you. Talk with a St. Louis sedation dentist to determine the best option for your needs. Maybe laughing gas will be enough to help you manage your fear and be out of the chair and on your way as soon as the procedures are done.
What other ways of managing your dental anxiety have you tried? What worked for you? Share your experience with us in a comment below!