Fearing the dentist is a natural reaction – more than 5 percent of Americans fear the dentist. While fear is normal, don’t let it keep you from your dental appointments. Your overall dental health depends on regular checkups and cleanings, as well as any necessary dental work. So what can you do to alleviate your dental anxiety? Keep reading for the top tips.
Choose a Caring Dentist
Dental anxiety often revolves around the fear of the unknown. At our dental practice, we welcome our patients in prior to the start of the appointment. This gives you time to get acclimated to your surroundings. Take a look around the office, look at the dental tools, and ask us any questions you have before your visit to make yourself comfortable.
Verbalize Your Fear
Letting us know about your fear ahead of time can help us help you. If you have a fear of the tools, such as the drill, help us identify the reason. If it’s the noise, we can help distract you by allowing headphones and your favorite television show or songs. If you have a fear of needles, we offer solutions that help numb your mouth before we use the needles. Our staff can also distract you while the dentist administers the needles to avoid unnecessary anxiety.
We are happy to sit down with you and discuss the treatment beforehand. We can give you the step-by-step lowdown of what we will do and how we will do it. We can even come up with a specific hand gesture or movement that signals that you need a break during the procedure, should you feel uncomfortable. Knowing you have a way out can help you stay calmer.
Know Your Relaxation Techniques
Tensing up only makes the process worse. It sends your mind racing and subsequently makes your heart and pulse speed up. Instead, learn how to take slow, deep breaths before your procedures. Simply breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth as slowly as possible (while counting) can help put everything, including your mind in check.
Bring a Trusted Friend or Relative With You
If you can’t get yourself to even walk in the door, bring a trusted friend or relative (that doesn’t fear the dentist) with you. Having someone with you, helping you through the process can give you the push you need to get through it. With our calm bedside manner and ability to work with you through your anxiety, you are sure to get through it just fine.
At River Valley Smile Center, we cater to patients with dental anxiety. We’ll walk you through each step, ensuring your comfort the entire time. Call us at 479-646-0706 today for your appointment.