For most people, going to the dentist ranks very low on the list of things they’d like to do. While most people fear public speaking more than anything else, going to the dentist a few times a year can stir up emotions of dread and anxiety for patients of any age.
These feelings can make booking a needed dentist appointment (and actually going) very difficult. If you have fears and anxieties related to visiting the dentist, here are seven strategies that could help you before and during your next appointment.
1. Take Breaks During Your Appointment
Your dentist and dental assistants will be getting up close and into your personal space, which can increase feelings of anxiety and claustrophobia. This is often a source of concern for patients during their visit, and it can help to take breaks when needed and if appropriate.
Ask your dentist if you could take small breaks during procedures when possible to keep from feeling overwhelmed and out of control. You may not be able to take a break in the middle of some procedures, but you and your dentist can work to find a solution that works for you and the process you are undergoing.
2. Create Hand Signals With Your Dentist
Dentists know that many people don’t enjoy their office visits. This means that your dental team has experience working with people who are terrified of getting into the dentist’s chair.
Since you will not be able to talk as your dentist is working, you can develop specific hand signs to communicate with your dentist. While you should not move or try to alter your mouth as the dentist is in the middle of your procedure, you should always be able to signal your dentist if something hurts or if you need to take a short break.
3. Keep Your Mouth Healthy Between Visits
If you are anxious about going to the dentist then keeping your teeth and gums healthy is a great way to minimize the time you need to sit in the dental chair during your visits. Good dental hygiene will keep your teeth healthy, reducing the number of invasive procedures that a dentist might have to do.
Ask any and all questions about your oral health to your dentist. Gaining knowledge about your teeth can allow you to feel in control and understand how what, and why behind your dental procedures.
4. Find A Dentist That You Can Trust
Not all dentists offer the same services or level of comfort in their offices. If you are anxious about visiting the dentist, then you can look online for a dental office that has good reviews and positive feedback from current patients.
Look for a dental practice with excellent customer service and stellar reviews from other patients. This is often the sign that you will feel more comfortable and at ease when sitting in the dentist chair during your next visit.
5. Ask Questions About What Concerns You
It can be hard to ask questions when you are in the middle of a procedure, but you can ask questions as you book an appointment and before the dentist starting the procedure.
Be sure to ask questions about the tools that will be used, practices and timelines to expect during the visit, sanitation standards of devices, and anything else on your mind when you visit the dentist’s office. Sometimes understanding what is going on during your visit is all you need to feel more relaxed while sitting in the dentist chair!
6. Find A Way To Stay Comfortable During Your Visit
Some people are overcome by the various sounds and tools being used during their visit. You should talk to the office staff before booking an appointment about the option of wearing headphones, an eye mask, or earplugs to muffle the sights and sounds of the dentist’s office.
Seeing the tools and hearing the drills can increase anxiety, but playing your favorite playlist or watching a television show on a screen above your chair can make the sensory experience of going to the dentist a lot different.
7. Ask For Topical Anesthetics For Dental Work
Dentists work with many people who have anxiety and fear, so they are ready to make your experience as positive as possible with topical anesthetics, anxiety medication, nitrous oxide or laughing gas, and more.
Be sure to consult with your dentist before your visit to see what options are right for you. These solutions could be what you need to reduce the anxiety of visiting the dentist office!
Become More Comfortable At The Dentist Office
Going to the dentist doesn’t have to be an experience that results in fear and anxiety. Our Seven Point dentist can work with you to minimize your concerns while giving you tools to cope with your feelings during your dental visits. You can use the above tips to have a more enjoyable visit to the dentist today!