Fear is natural. But, this natural emotion can grow into a fear of the dentist. Some people may avoid the dentist for years due to dental phobia. If you have a dental phobia, these tips may help.
Speak Up About Your Fears
Feeling fearful of the dentist is common. In fact, more than 50% of Americans feel more anxious at the thought of going to the dentist than of visiting their doctor’s office. It is nothing to feel embarrassed or ashamed of. Chances are, it’s very likely that the people around you feel less anxious about dental visits! It’s normal to feel this way, and you shouldn’t feel obligated to maintain a smile when your oral health is at risk. That’s why you should speak up about your fears; your dentist will have a variety of options to help you feel more calm and more relaxed during your appointments so that your health can be properly managed.
Agree On A Signal
The dentist needs to know when you are uncomfortable and need help. Talk with your provider beforehand so you can agree on a signal – such as raising your hand or saying “stop. They can also offer gentle reassurance and give you extra breaks during the procedure. It’s amazing how much better the experience can be when you know what to expect!
Take A Trusted Person With You
If you’re feeling nervous or anxious in the dentist’s office, consider taking someone with you who can comfort you while you’re there. This can be a friend, your spouse, or even a child. This person can distract you from the procedure at hand and keep you calm throughout the appointment. Try to pick someone who you know will stay calm as well during the procedure. Sometimes having someone else in the room can make things a little more relaxing for you too. You can keep each other calm and distracted from the procedure at the same time!
If you feel alarmed, you can bring a distraction like your phone to listen to music or watch a video. Some patients have headphones and listen to music to distract them from the noises in the dentist’s office. Other patients have a stress ball to squeeze or fidget with while in treatment. Bringing a small toy from home is also helpful. It is also helpful to bring along a person you trust to sit with you during your procedure. This person can help distract you and ask questions on your behalf.
Consider Sedation Dentistry
Being relaxed during dental procedures may be just what you need to feel more relaxed at the dentist’s office. There are different types of sedation available, including nitrous oxide and oral sedatives. There are some benefits to both types. For instance, with oral sedatives, you won’t even remember the visit afterward. With nitrous oxide, the effects wear off quickly after the mask is removed. Talk with your dental care professional about your options and what would be best for your situation.
If you’re interested to learn more, call our dentist today to schedule a consultation. You can call us at (209) 554-1700 or visit our clinic located at 1317 Oakdale Rd Suite 310, Modesto, California 95355.