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10 Tips to Overcome Dental Anxiety
Are you someone who is scared stiff about dental treatment and worries about it repeatedly? Do you feel calm before your dental appointment or are you nervous about a visit to the dentist?
Whichever end of this spectrum you might be on, it may be helpful to know that you are not alone. And while it’s true that dental anxiety affects approximately 15 per cent of patients, substantial majorities are still able to get through this necessary procedure undeterred.
Our experts at Vita Dental Spring share tips to help you overcome your fear of the dental chair.
Share Your Past Dental Experiences
Sometimes the overall experience of an appointment can leave you feeling unsettled. Maybe you were over-billed, the hygienist wasn’t comprehensive enough, or the assistant was insensitive. It’s rather unfortunate, but it shouldn’t be a benchmark against your future visits. Sharing with the dental staff about your experience helps you get treated without being offended.
Discuss With Your Dental Hygienist About Your Fears
Most patients often say that their fears were worse than the actual procedure; and that if they had known what to expect they would have been less nervous. At Vita Dental Spring, we strive to ensure that your experience as comfortable and stress-free as possible. Our experienced dentists will explain to you what the procedure involves, and you know what to expect during and after the appointment.
Find A Dentist You Are Comfortable With
There are many different types of personalities in the dental profession. Find yourself a dentist who makes you feel comfortable and is willing to work with you on your fears. Your dentist sets the tone for your entire visit. If he/she isn’t warm and inviting and tends to be too strict, this can intensify any fears you might have.
Find A Distraction
You can use a variety of different media such as listening to soothing music, watching televisions or a funny video before your appointment to help you relax. It also helps in associating the dentist with calmness, which can aid in overcoming your fears. If your doctor offers none of these, you could carry a book during your appointment, or you can also use a stress ball to help distract yourself during your meeting.
Use Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation techniques before and during the appointment can help you have a more pleasant experience at the dentist and may minimise your fears.
Techniques such as deep breathing exercises and anti-anxiety medications for extremely nervous patients can be employed to manage dental phobia. Sedatives like nitrous oxide can also be used to help you relax during your visit. Please note that if you happen to take any anti-anxiety medication that isn’t prescribed by the dentist, be sure to notify them in advance to avoid any potentially dangerous interactions between drugs.
Stop If Uncomfortable
The foundation of any good doctor-patient relationship is effective communication. Many dentists have established a signal to “stop” with their patients. It is imperative to talk to the dentist about stopping if you’re uncomfortable or need to take a break during the appointment. By doing this, you are in control of the procedure, and it helps you help you calm down and diminish your fears.
Visit The Dentist Regularly
Going to the dentist such as Vita Dental Spring for routine cleanings avoids significant problems that may result in extensive procedures. Start with simple treatments such as teeth cleaning then move to more serious procedures such as root canals or crown fillings. Remember, the more you visit the dentist and have positive experiences, the more you are likely to maintain your oral health, overcome your dental phobia and build up a trusting relationship with your dentist.
Bring Along A Family Member During The Appointment
Consider asking a family member or a friend to escort you to your appointment. If you are exceptionally apprehensive, request the dentist if your friend can accompany you to the procedure room. Knowing that another trusted person is within may offer comfort.
Address The Cause Of Your Fears
After ascertaining the causes of your dental phobia, take preemptive steps to overcome your fear of the dentist. Try and think about specific experiences that could have contributed to the fear and counter them with positive experiences. By doing this, you are already getting in the proper frame of mind to start gradually overcoming these fears.
Acknowledge That Dental Procedures Have Improved Greatly
Dental procedures have undergone considerable changes in recent years. There are new technological ways of treating dental issues with lesser pain and a shorter treatment period. Modern-day dentists are also creating less clinical dental offices with a softer ambience and eliminating the typical smells associated with dental visits. Understanding these improvements in dental treatments helps alleviate your fears to a more significant extent.
Every dentist wants their patients to feel calm and relaxed. If you’re struggling with dental anxiety and it’s interfering with you seeking dental care, visit our practice at Vita Dental Spring to familiarise with the facility and meet our team.
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