7 Effective Ways to Cope With Dental Anxiety

Today is a day that you’ve been trying to avoid for months. Unfortunately, you can’t put it off any longer. You have to rip off the Band-Aid and go to the dentist.

You’ve always had dental anxiety. You know that the drills and procedures are going to hurt and you’re not for it. The last time you went to a dental office, the practitioner was rude and overcharged you as well.

Still, if you don’t go, your oral health and health, in general, will suffer. Check out this guide to learn how to make going to the dentist a little less painful.

Common Dental Fears 

It’s hard to overcome your fear if you don’t know why you’re afraid. Here are a few factors that might be mentally blocking you from making an appointment. 

Pain

The truth is, going to a dentist hurts. There’s no way around that. You may feel nothing during the procedure due to anesthetic but when it wears off, you might have a sore mouth. 

It doesn’t help that when you’re afraid, your body tenses up. This only makes your pain worse. Rest assured that most dentists don’t want to hurt you. 

Fear of the Unknown

There is a certain level of vulnerability when you’re sitting back in a dental chair. You have no control over what’s going on. This fact alone makes many people nervous. 

Needles 

If you have a fear of needles, you’re not alone. Many people have this phobia. That’s why most dentists are equipped with the knowledge and ability to ease this fear. 

 

1. Pick the Right Dentist 

Now that you know about the common fears, let’s talk more about how to overcome them. If you’re nervous about going to the dentist, the first thing you need to do is research. Find a practitioner that will hear your concerns and be sympathetic.

Trust us when we say the worst thing you can do is to choose a dentist at random. When you’re looking for a new practitioner, check out reviews online first. Talk to your family and friends about their experiences with their family dentist.

Make a consultation appointment. If you feel comfortable enough talking to the dentist during the consultation, you’ll feel comfortable enough to talk to them during your actual appointment. 

2. Try Relaxation Techniques 

On the day of your appointment set aside some time to calm yourself. There are plenty of easy deep breathing exercises that you can look up online. Doing some meditation might be able to put you in the right mindset for your dental procedure. 

If you’re so fearful of the dentist that you can’t calm your anxiety, you might want to call your dentist ahead of time to let them know. You can get some gas at dentist to keep you calm. 

3. Bring a Friend or Family Member with You

There is strength in numbers. Ask a friend or family member to come with you to your appointment. Having a support system with you might make you feel calmer and keep you relaxed during your procedure. 

The practitioner will have no qualms with them coming into the room with you if that’s what you need or you can ask them to wait out in the lobby for you. 

4. Get to the Dentist Ahead of Time

Do your best to get to the dentist ahead of time. If you’re trying to rush out the door to get to your appointment, you’ll make yourself anxious before your procedure even takes place. 

If you arrive with a half-hour to spare, you can take a moment to breathe and brace yourself for what’s to come. You can ask the front desk staff questions and make your fears known. 

5. Tell Your Dentist About Your Fears 

The best cure for your dental phobia is to tell your dentist about your fears. If you’re afraid because of the sound the drill makes, ask the dentist if you can wear headphones and pump your favorite song through them. 

Scared of needles? The dentist can use plenty of numbing gels before the procedure so you don’t feel anything. If the idea of being vulnerable in the dental chair scares you, ask the dentist to tell you what they’re doing as they do it. 

6. Ask Questions

Knowing nothing about a procedure that involves needles and drills is enough to make anyone nervous. Take a moment before anything happens to ask questions. 

Again, you can ask the practitioner to explain what they’re doing as they do it. If you feel your heart start to race and need a second to calm down, tell them to stop. Any good dentist will take your fears into consideration and do as you ask.  

7. Get Over Bad Past Experiences 

Maybe the last time you went to the dentist you were overcharged. The dentist didn’t listen to your concerns and hurt you. Bad past experiences are enough to shape how you view every dentist for the rest of your life. 

The problem is that you have to go to the dentist. If you don’t take care of your oral health, your overall wellness will suffer. Get a new dentist and realize that they are completely different from the last one you had. 

Calm Your Dental Anxiety 

If you have dental anxiety, rest assured that you’re not alone. Many people are scared of the dentist and it’s nothing to be ashamed about. 

Getting over your fear all boils down to finding a good dentist and realizing that they’re not there to hurt you. They want to help you and make your procedure go as smoothly as possible. 

There’s more to taking care of your oral health than going to the dentist. Check out the dental section of our blog daily for all the latest tips. 

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