Are you left shaking at just the thought of visiting the dentist? You’re not alone. Dental anxiety is extremely common. And, although few people actually look forward to their dental check-ups, serious dental phobias often prevent people from seeking proper preventative care.
Unlike other phobias that don’t usually need addressing, neglecting your routine dental appointments can significantly impact your oral health. That said, there are tips you can try to help overcome your anxiety and conquer your fear of the dentist.
Ways to Relieve Dental-Phobia
Bring Someone with You to Appointments
Have someone you trust accompany you to your dental appointment (if the office allows), preferably someone who isn’t afraid of dentists, can help keep you at ease, and can offer an extra layer of support. You may choose to have the person wait out in the lobby until the visit is over. However, some patients feel more comfortable having a companion hold their hand or simply sit in the room with them.
Schedule Appointments in the Morning
If possible, try to schedule your next appointment first thing in the morning. That way, you’ll avoid dreading your visit all day, and your nerves won’t be shot from a long day at work. Additionally, seeing a dentist at a less busy time of day, such as the early morning, typically means there will be fewer patients – meaning less time in the waiting room for you and fewer anxiety-triggering dental noises.
Practice Relaxation Techniques
Before your appointment, it’s essential to take some time to relax and get in the right mindset. Stretching, meditation and controlled breathing are popular relaxation techniques that can make a big difference ahead of your dental visit. For example, try taking a deep breath, holding it in, then letting it out very slowly. This practice helps slow your heartbeat and may help you feel calmer during dental treatment.
Bring Something to Distract Yourself
In many cases, the sounds of drills and suction tubes are the major reason why patients feel uneasy at the dentist. Fortunately, wearing earplugs or headphones during your appointment is a simple fix to this problem. In addition, listening to your favorite music or e-book can help you relax and keep your mind off the dental treatment.
Find a Dentist You Trust
Many patients with a fear of the dentist find that seeing the same dentist and dental hygienist every visit helps ease their anxiety. Essentially, if you develop a comfortable, trusting relationship with your dental team, you’ll find it much easier to relax. Thus, finding a dental office you can count on is essential to overcoming your dental fears.
Let Us Put You at Ease
At Panorama Dental, our team is committed to helping every patient feel completely at ease during their appointments. We offer many options to help make patients more comfortable, including nitrous oxide (laughing gas), sedation, and various types of anesthesia. If you’re seeking a new dental home that can help you overcome your fears, contact us today.