Dental fear is a common phobia that affects many people. It can range from mild uneasiness to a full-blown paralyzing fear of the dentist. It is understandable to have fear about going to the dentist, especially if it is your first time. However, dental fear can hinder your oral and overall health. Without regular oral exams, you run the risk of developing severe oral health issues.
Discuss your fears with the dentist
Making an appointment with your dentist in advance and telling him or her about your fear will help you overcome your fear of going to see the dentist. Dentists are aware of what their patients go through when coming to their clinic and will work with you to overcome your fears and reduce the anxiety you feel. They will listen to all your concerns and answer all the questions you have to relieve your worries and help you feel more at ease. They will even give you tips to ease your mind and advice on how you can ease the anxiety you are feeling before visiting them.
During your appointment, they will try to calm you down by giving you a friendly smile and introducing themselves to you to help you relax. They will tell you what is going to happen during the procedure to reassure you and keep you relaxed throughout the treatment. If you are feeling anxious while you are undergoing treatment, they will check in with you to make sure you are alright and try to create a calm and positive environment during your visit. They will also ask you to give them a signal to let them know if you are feeling uncomfortable and need a break. This helps you control your feelings and stay calm throughout the entire appointment.
Agree on a signal
Before your treatment begins, be sure to discuss a signal or word with your dentist to let them know if you’ve had too much discomfort or an undue amount of pain during the procedure. This will allow them to stop the treatment right away and prevent further damage to your teeth and mouth.
You should agree on a signal before the procedure begins so that if you do begin to feel uncomfortable, you can notify your dentist ASAP so that they can act quickly and get you relief!
Take a friend or family member with you for emotional support
Going to the dentist can be scary, even when you have someone to accompany you. By bringing a friend or a family member along with you, you can have someone who can help you remember things and to stay calm and relaxed. They can hold your hand, talk to you through the treatment and keep your mind off what is happening in your mouth. The dentist can give you a signal if you become too nervous and need a break during your treatment as well, so you can ask your companion for help in alerting the dentist that you need a break.
Bring distractions to occupy your mind during procedures
Distractions help occupy the mind and prevent it from wandering to anxious thoughts. Music, audiobooks, and headphones or earbuds can be a welcome distraction during a procedure.
When undergoing longer treatments such as root canals or extractions, you may want to bring something relatively mindless to read. For nervous patients, reading can stave off some of the nervousness, and if it’s the right book, it can transport you to another world entirely.
Consider sedation dentistry
While some patients feel relaxed just by knowing that their dentist is by their side, others need a little more assistance. Sedation dentistry is a form of dental care that helps you relax during dental procedures. Most commonly, your dentist will use a mild sedative before a procedure to help you relax. However, other sedation options exist for those who need a deeper level of relaxation. Talk to your dentist about what types of sedation are available and which may be right for you.
Patients who have a moderate or severe fear of the dentist may benefit from the calming effects of sedation dentistry. Oral conscious sedation can calm nervous patients before and during some routine treatments, while IV sedation provides a stronger relaxation effect that’s often necessary for more involved dental treatments.
Many patients fear visiting the dentist because of anxiety over needles or other sharp instruments. Nitrous oxide may be a good choice for patients who feel discomfort at the thought of invasive procedures. This gas can help you relax during treatment, allowing you to receive the necessary treatment without feeling pain.
Get in touch with Peak Family Dentistry at 4933 Brainerd Rd, Chattanooga, TN 37411, or call (423) 899-1948 to schedule an appointment for the best dental care based on your specific needs.