For anyone who has ever had a dental procedure, the sound of a drill or needle can cause a wave of anxiety to wash over them. Dental anxiety is real and commonly affects people of all ages, but it doesn’t have to prevent you from getting the care you need. Whether you are visiting the dentist for a routine cleaning or an extensive treatment plan, there are ways to cope with the apprehension and fear you may be feeling.
Understanding Dental Anxiety
Dental anxiety can vary from mild to severe depending on the individual’s experience and sensitivity to pain. For some people it is a fleeting thought that passes as soon as they enter their dentist’s office. For others, it’s a very real fear that causes them to avoid the dentist altogether. Understanding your anxiety and its triggers is the first step in managing it.
Many people who experience dental anxiety feel embarrassed or ashamed to speak up about their fears. But talking with your dentist about your concerns can help them understand and be more sensitive to your needs. Your dentist can work with you to create a plan that will make treatment easier for you such as slowly introducing elements of the procedure or providing distraction techniques.
Trying relaxation techniques before and during your visit can help take control of the anxiety you’re feeling. Deep breathing, visualization and even listening to music can all help ease your mind and make the experience less overwhelming.
Find a Dentist You Trust
Having a good relationship with your dentist is key to managing dental anxiety. Finding a professional who you trust and feel comfortable with will help put you at ease during treatments and make the experience more pleasant.
Dental anxiety is common but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer in silence. Talking to your dentist, understanding your triggers and using relaxation techniques all help to manage the apprehension you may feel when visiting the dentist chair. With these strategies, you can get the treatment or procedure that you need in a calm and comfortable environment.
There are various ways to cope with dental anxiety such as talking to your dentist about your concerns, trying relaxation techniques before and during your visit, and finding a dentist that you trust.
Some relaxation techniques that you can use include deep breathing, visualization, and listening to music.
If your dentist is not understanding of your dental anxiety, it may be best to find another dentist that you feel more comfortable with.