Dental anxiety is highly prevalent, affecting people of all ages and backgrounds. In a recent survey that studied 18,000 people worldwide, 61 percent of respondents claimed they suffer from dental fear, and four percent reported to have never been to a dentist. Coping with dental anxiety requires a direct approach that eliminates triggers that cause distress and identifies ways to remain calm and composed.
Share Your Fears
Don’t hesitate to share your fears with your dentist. Dentists encounter patients with anxiety on a daily basis and have developed strategies to treat these patients in a way that minimizes their fears. Expressing your concerns can help your dentist adapt your treatment to your unique needs.
The unknown is often scarier than the reality. Ask your dentist about what you can expect during your visit and have her walk you through the procedure. If you are uncomfortable with a particular aspect of the treatment, vocalize your concerns and your dentist may suggest an alternative.
Bring a Friend to Help with Your Dental Anxiety
It can be scary to venture to the dentist on your own when you experience anxiety. Consider bringing a friend or family member along as a source of comfort. Having someone you trust by your side can help you relax and take the focus off of the procedure at hand.
Today, many dental clinics offer different types of technology in patient rooms to help retain the attention of patients during treatments. Television shows or movies playing on a screen may help keep your focus. If the sound of a drill or other dental instruments is stress-inducing, listen to music through a pair of sound-blocking headphones.
Use Hand Signals
Anxiety can increase in dental patients when they are not able to communicate during treatment. If you feel overwhelmed during the procedure, use hand signals to tell your dentist that you need a break.
Some patients can ease their dental anxiety by practicing visualization in the dental chair. Think about an upcoming event that you are excited about, a fond memory that you have with a loved one, or envision your “happy place.” This will help you overcome your anxiety.
Ask About Sedation Options
Safe sedation options, such as nitrous oxide and oral sedatives, can be an effective way to diminish and overcome severe dental anxiety. Talk to your dentist about what sedation options they offer and what you can expect from each type.
Pick the Right Appointment Time
Choosing the right time for your dental appointment can make a big difference in how the treatment progresses. If you’re not a morning person, request an afternoon or evening appointment. If you don’t want to feel rushed, schedule an appointment for a day you don’t have any other obligations.
Request an Appointment with Vero Elite Dentistry, We can Help You Overcome Anxiety
Don’t let your dental anxiety get in the way of maintaining your oral health. Our accommodating staff at Vero Elite Dentistry in Vero Beach, FL offers compassionate dentistry and personalized care. Contact Vero Elite Dentistry today to request an appointment or to learn how we can help ease your dental anxiety.