Dental anxiety or phobia is an intense fear of the dentist or dental procedures. Dental anxiety is a very common condition. It can stem from bad dental experiences in the past or from fear of pain. In extreme cases, dental anxiety can prevent people from going to the dentist altogether.
- Speak up about your dental fears
Many patients avoid the dentist because they are afraid of the procedures. Don’t let your fear prevent you from getting the dental care you need! There are a variety of ways your dentist can help you manage any fear and anxiety before your appointment.
First, let your dentist know at your next appointment that you have some concerns or fears about the procedure. He or she can provide you with information and describe what to expect, so you know what to expect during your visit.
Also, speak up if you have a concern or are feeling anxious during your appointment. Your dentist and staff want to reassure you and keep you comfortable. They can give you breaks throughout the procedure as needed. They can also talk you through the steps to ensure you are relaxed and calm.
- Agree on a signal for when you need a break
Many dentists offer amenities to help you relax during your treatment. You will want to let your dental team know if you will need a break during treatment. A signal can alert them that you may need a break soon. This break can rejuvenate you so that it’s easier for you to continue with your procedure. Some patients like to use a hand motion to alert their dentist that they need a break. Work with your dental team to determine the best way for you to inform them that you need a break.
- Take a trusted person with you to your appointment
This person can help soothe your nerves and hold your hand during the procedure. It can also help to have someone to talk to while you wait for the treatment to be completed. They can help you stay calm and relaxed until the dentist is done with your treatment.
- Bring distractions
You might feel more at ease bringing a distraction, such as headphones or a book to read, if you have to wait at your session. If you feel comfortable doing so, you can also bring a family member or friend along for moral support and comfort. Even just having someone to talk to and who knows your history can help distract you from the procedure itself. You can also ask your dentist if you can listen to music during the procedure, which can help divert your attention from what’s happening in your mouth.
- Consider sedation dentistry
If you suffer from dental anxiety or fear, then your dentist may suggest oral conscious sedation. Oral medication will be taken about an hour before the procedure begins to help you feel relaxed and at ease. Many patients even fall asleep during the procedure! Other forms of sedation are also available, and your dentist can discuss these depending on your needs and preferences.
For more tips and comprehensive dental care, visit Stonewater Dentistry at 4450 N Tenaya Way, Suite 225, Las Vegas, NV 89129. Call us at (702) 734-5000 for appointments.