The idea that dentist appointments are scary is a concept that has become mainstream within popular culture. In reality though, most visits to the dentist don’t require any invasive or painful procedures, and if you’ve taken good care of your gums and teeth, then the appointment will be relatively simple. Regardless of this fact, many people still experience anxiety and nervousness before and during a dental appointment. Though there’s no surefire way to eliminate anxiety entirely, here are some options for helping to cope with your phobia:
Talk to the Dentist or Hygienist Beforehand — Many people don’t realize this, but dentists can be incredibly accommodating for those with irrational fears about coming in for a procedure or check-up. If you speak with your dentist or hygienist beforehand and outline your fears and concerns, they’ll work with you to establish a baseline and ensure that your comfort is at an optimal level.
Find Ways to Relax During an Appointment — Though it’s not always easy for people with less active imaginations, distracting yourself from the situation at hand can help you cope with your nerves surrounding the metal tools prodding at your gums and teeth. Closing your eyes and picturing yourself on a beach, while not always easy can help soothe you. If your dentist allows it, you might also be able to listen to music during your appointment. Likewise, some dentists now have TVs installed in their offices, so that patients can be distracted during the dental work. Just make sure you’re still present enough to “help” the dentist or hygienist out if necessary by making their job as easy as possible. Additionally, for some, practicing breathing and relaxation techniques can be a great skill to help alleviate excessive apprehension at the dentist’s office.
Consider Sedation Dentistry — Thanks to innovations in medical technology, some forms of sedation are now available for many dental procedures. You may even be able to take a mild sedative to ease your nerves during a regular check-up. Consider a dentist who practices sedation dentistry to help you deal with your anxiety.
If you’d like to talk to us about any concerns or apprehension you’re experiencing about an upcoming appointment or would like to schedule an appointment at our Austin area office, contact Lakeway Center for Cosmetic & Family Dentistry today, and we’ll do our absolute best to accommodate you and assuage your fears!