Tips for Relieving Dental Anxiety
Dental anxiety can be a serious problem for patients who avoid the dentist because of their fear. This tendency can prevent the patient from accessing the care they need to maintain a healthy, beautiful smile. Fortunately, there are some tips and techniques that you can use to overcome your dental anxiety and get the treatment you need.
First and foremost, you should be open with your dentist about any fears or concerns that you may have. There’s no need to be ashamed of dental anxiety. It’s a common condition. However, when you are upfront about that anxiety, your provider can address any specific concerns that you have and make sure that you are well-informed throughout the appointment and may adjust his or her technique in caring for you.
You can also do certain things to help keep calm during the appointment, such as focusing on breathing slowly and consistently. Avoiding caffeinated beverages, which can increase anxiety, before the appointment can also help, as can listening to music to block out unsettling sounds associated with the office.
Sedation dentistry is another useful tool for fearful patients. This approach uses sedative medications to help the patient achieve a deeply relaxed, sleep-like state. The patient remains conscious and able to respond to the provider’s instructions and the airway is not compromised. Additionally, the sedatives have an amnestic effect so the patient has no recollection of the treatment after it is complete.
Sedation dentistry is appropriate for routine appointments as well as more involved interventions. Your provider may offer different delivery methods for the sedatives, so explore these options to determine which one best meets your needs.
Don’t let dental anxiety keep you from getting routine exams, cleanings and other treatments that will help keep your smile in tip-top shape. Talk to our knowledgeable staff members to learn about the techniques and interventions that can help you overcome this obstacle to care.