How to Overcome Dental Anxiety

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dental anxiety

Dental anxiety affects over 75% of adults.

This is the fear of going to the dentist. Not only that but the fear of the things that happen at the dentist. Things like needles, drilling, or even the smell of stuff in the building can be cause for fear.

Are you worried about going to the dentist? Are you afraid of all the things that might happen there? Then perhaps you need some tips to help you overcome your anxiety.

Sounds good? Then keep reading below, and we’ll show you how to overcome your fear permanently.

Understand the Sources of Your Fear

One of the best ways to overcome dentalĀ fear is to start by understanding the sources of your fear. Often, anxiety arises when the individual feels out of control and uncertain about what to expect. Becoming informed about the dental procedure you will be undergoing and speaking to your dental care provider, such as Dentist Oakville, about anxieties can be helpful.

General Anesthesia

Overcoming the fear of dentists is a challenge for many people. For those who suffer from debilitating dental fear, general anesthesia is a great option to help overcome this and more comfortably get necessary dental treatments.

Before undergoing general anesthesia, your dentist will begin by thoroughly going over the risks and potential implications of the process. The dentist will also discuss the complete process and discuss any specific concerns they may have.

During this process, the dentist will take into account any existing medical conditions, medications, allergies, or sensitivities and adjust treatment plans accordingly.

General anesthesia is an invaluable tool for those who suffer from dental anxiety in order to get necessary treatments. It allows the patient to relax and feel more comfortable during the procedure. It reduces their overall stress and makes dental treatments more convenient.

Conscious Sedation

Another option that dental patients have to help overcome their anxiety is conscious dental sedation. This practice has been used for years to help calm individuals and remove any discomfort associated with dental procedures. Conscious sedation typically involves the use of oral medication or nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas”. The patient remains conscious at all times.

Also, this method does not require anesthetic or pain relievers of any kind. This is an especially attractive option for many because it requires minimal preparation. It is fast-acting, and results can be viewed on the same day.

Analgesia

Dentists may offer analgesia and sedation as options to relax you for a procedure. Analgesia for dental anxiety is a safe and effective way to alleviate pain and anxiety. By taking an analgesic, you can manage your stress and focus on relaxation.

Bring Somebody with You

Bringing somebody with you when going to the dentist can be a great way to come to terms with your anxiety. The support of a loved one can make the experience significantly less overwhelming. It could be a family member or close friend who is present when you receive care from a dental professional.

Even if they remain in the waiting room, it can provide the security necessary to be able to go through with the procedure. If it’s necessary that your companion attends the consultation with you, be sure to make sure the dentist is informed prior to your appointment. This will make for a smoother, more comfortable appointment for you both.

Ultimately, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to face your anxiety alone. Enlisting the support of those close to you can make the experience much more bearable. If you need their presence, don’t be afraid to ask. It could make all the difference.

Distraction

There are numerous distractions that can be used while at the dentist. For example, listening to music through headphones or focusing on a book or activity that keeps the mind preoccupied. Visualization can be another helpful tool to use during dental appointments. Imagine yourself in a calming, relaxing place away from the dental chair.

Distractions that shift the focus off of the visit can help tremendously. If pretending to be a zombie hunter in a virtual game is more your style, playing a game on your phone or laptop can work as a distraction. This allows the anxiety to slowly dissipate and allows treatment to be completed safely and effectively.

Anxiolytic Drug

Anxiolytic drugs are medical interventions that can help overcome anxiety. Benzodiazepines, such as lorazepam and diazepam, can reduce fear and help people relax during a dental exam. 

Progressive Desensitization

Reducing the number of treatments, lengthening the intervals between visits, and addressing the patient’s individual concerns, can also help in overcoming anxiety. Advocating for one’s own needs and asking questions to build trust and understand the treatment plan can make it easier to manage anxiety associated with receiving dental care.

Hypnosis

Hypnosis is a tried and tested way of reducing stress and can help individuals relax in difficult situations. The experience of hypnosis can help a person focus on becoming more relaxed. It enables them to identify the source of their anxiety and understand why it may be happening.

Hypnosis also helps to distract the individual during a dental procedure, allowing them to remain calm and prevent fear from setting in. An experienced practitioner can also provide positive suggestions that may help the individual to overcome their fear or even create new experiences that replace the negative ones associated with dental treatment.

Meditation and Breathing Exercises

Meditation and breath exercises are two helpful ways to overcome anxiety. Before an appointment, one can practice deep breathing exercises. These exercises can help relax the body and clear the mind.

Additionally, one can practice a simple mindfulness meditation. Focus on the breath, the soothing words of guided meditation, and the calming imagery to allow the nerves to settle. Practicing these techniques can often help to alleviate feelings of anxiety.

Overcome Dental Anxiety with These Tips

Overcoming dental anxiety can seem like an insurmountable task. However, by following these steps and maintaining regular visits to your dentist, conquering your anxiety is definitely achievable.

Adopting these strategies and utilizing relaxation techniques has been shown to help many individuals overcome their fear. So don’t be afraid to take charge and boost your oral health! Reach out to your local dental office today for more information.

For more tips, be sure to read more of our posts.