It is quite common to face a bit of apprehension before visiting the dentist due to past experiences, fear of pain, fear of the unknown, or simply embarrassment over the state of your teeth. In fact, up to 20% of the population experiences dental anxiety at some level, with up to 8% so fearful that that they avoid the dentist altogether.
We want to help ensure that your dental fears do not hinder your long term dental health. Here are a few strategies to help you or others in your family overcome their fear of coming in to visit us and get back in the dental chair!
Schedule Morning Appointments
Schedule your dental visits for early in the day. This will keep you from dwelling on your pending appointment all day, which may allow for anxiety to build up. Get it done first thing in the morning before you can think about it too long.
Bring a Distraction
You may find that bringing a set of headphones for listening to music or an audiobook during your procedure may help distract you and allow you to relax during your visit. Or, immediately before your visit, divert yourself with a book or video clip to get your mind off of your procedure to keep your anxiety low.
Bring a Buddy
Have a friend, spouse, or other family member accompany you on your next visit to our office. Sometimes simply the reassurance of a familiar person in your life provides a much-needed extra layer of support to help you face your fears.
If you experience levels of anxiety that may hinder your dental care and are not resolved on your own, please call our office ahead of time or talk with our team about your fears. Our staff will help you address these anxieties and provide a plan to ensure you are comfortable with each step of your visit by:
-Clearly communicating with you what is happening and what will happen next. This will help you rest easy knowing that you will be aware of the next step before it happens.
-Utilize anesthesia options that are best for you and your pain tolerance level.
-Create a signal to identify when you have an issue or need a break, such as a hand raise or other motion.
Our dental team here at River Valley Smiles is here to facilitate the best experience during your treatment. We want to ensure you receive the best care for your oral health and that in the process you remain calm, relaxed, and at ease.