Easing Dental Anxiety: Coping Methods that Can Help

Dental anxiety is a legitimate condition that affects millions of people. Many people put off going to the dentist for years because of anxiety.

Speak up about your fears

Many people are too embarrassed or afraid to discuss their fears with their dentist. This only makes the situation worse and puts your oral health at risk. Speak up! Your dentist has done his or her best to help fearful patients just like you relax, but it is still up to you to let him or her know how you feel and what your concerns are.

Agree on a signal

Agreeing on a signal that you’ll use to let your dentist know you’re anxious can help make the appointment less stressful. Some patients use a raised hand or a finger to silently alert the dentist that they’re uncomfortable and need a break. Other patients prefer to verbalize their discomfort and request a break themselves. Everyone is different, so pick a method that works for you.

Take a trusted person with you

Bringing someone you trust can help you recall important information and ask questions that you forgot to ask the dentist. This person can also help you relax by distracting you from the anxiety and fear that you feel before you enter the dental office. They can also speak up on your behalf while the dentist is busy with something else.

Bring distractions

Some people find it helpful to bring headphones and music devices with them to drown out the noise of the equipment. Other patients find that bringing something to occupy their hands helps as well. A stress ball is a popular option because it is so small that it can fit in your pocket or your purse. Other people bring warm, fuzzy socks or a beloved stuffed animal to keep by their side for comfort.

Consider sedation dentistry

One way to ease your anxiety is to consider sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry involves the use of medication to help a patient relax during dental treatment. The sedatives delivered under sedation can be administered in a variety of ways, including intravenously or orally as a pill or liquid.

The benefits of sedation dentistry include comfort and safety during a potentially uncomfortable situation. In addition, if you are fearful of needles, sedation will help you sleep through the dental work without pain. Because you are awake during work, you will still be able to answer questions about your dental health and communicate with your dentist to determine the best course of care. If you have issues with gagging or just cannot sit still long enough for cleaning, sedation can help you be relaxed and still allow you to get the dental care you need.

Julita S Patil DDS Inc., located in Concord, CA, is equipped with the best dentists and modern technologies. To schedule an appointment with the dentist, call the dentist in Concord, CA, at (925) 689-2585 today. 

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