Top Tips for Overcoming Dental Anxiety

Top Tips for Overcoming Dental Anxiety

Dental phobia or fear of the dentist is quite common. However, putting off dental visits can lead to serious dental problems. If you have dental anxiety, discussing your fears with the dentist can help. Allow the dentist to explain procedures and describe the tools and techniques that will be used during your procedure. Here are more helpful tips. 

Discuss your fear with your dentist

Most dentists understand that most people experience some level of anxiety or stress before visiting their office. Do not be afraid to discuss your fears with the dentist. Letting them know ahead of time can help them prepare for your visit and help you feel at ease during your procedure. In some cases, they may even be able to recommend ways to help you relax during your visit, like listening to music on headphones or discussing an activity to distract you while you undergo treatment. In addition to discussing your fears and concerns, don't be afraid to ask any questions you may have about your treatment plan. Knowing the details can help alleviate some stress as you'll know what to expect during your procedure.

Agree on a signal

Agree on a signal with your doctor that you can use to indicate whether you need a break or are uncomfortable. For example, you can use raising your hand as a sign to stop or stop moving the mouth tool. Make sure you use a small motion so that you don't accidentally touch your instrument.

You can use a similar system when you're uncomfortable and want to let your doctor know. For instance, you can nod your head slowly up and down if you're feeling pain. Then the doctor will either remove the tool or give you anesthetic drops on the area that is painful.

Take someone with you for support

When dealing with anxiety during a dental procedure, having someone with you can help you stay calm and collected. Having company can also ease your nerves and help you feel relaxed throughout the treatment. You can bring a friend or family member to help you with the appointment. Having someone there who's focused on comforting you may make you less anxious while you have the procedure done. Just make sure that this person is not talking during your checkup so you can fully understand the instructions from the dentist.

Bring distractions to occupy your mind during procedures

Distracting yourself from dental procedures helps you stay calm and relaxed. Try not to think of the discomfort and possible pain by occupying yourself with music or a book. Your dentist might also allow you to bring a music player with a headset. You can bring something that you know will keep you occupied during the appointment. For example, you can bring your favorite book to read or a digital music player to listen to music. Just make sure you don't wear headphones because you need to be able to hear instructions from the dentist.

Consider sedation dentistry

If you've struggled with dental fear in the past, consider sedation dentistry for a stress-free experience. Sedation dentistry involves the use of medication to numb the mouth and relax the muscles. This will help you stay relaxed during the procedures. However, make sure that you follow the instructions given by your dentist when taking the medication. 

At Dr. Stan's Exceptional Dentistry, we offer the best tips to keep your teeth healthy. Call us at (650) 328-1223 or schedule an appointment online with our Dentist in Palo Alto, CA, for the best dental care and experience.

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