Going to the dentist is a very common fear. Dental anxiety can range from mild discomfort to a serious fear that causes a person to avoid the dentist altogether.
Regular dental visits are crucial for the health of your teeth and gums, so it’s important to come up with strategies that calm your fears. If the idea of getting dental work done makes you feel uneasy, try one of the strategies below.
Fear of the unknown can be a huge stressor. If you feel nervous about having dental work done, talk to your dentist about it. Ask what to expect during the procedure. You and your dentist can also come up with a signal, such as raising your hand, if you need to pause during the procedure. Discussing your anxiety with your dentist gives you a stronger sense of control and lets your dentist know how to best help you.
Before your visit, try using relaxation techniques such as deep breathing. When we’re anxious, we tend to take quick, shallow breaths. Deep breathing promotes relaxation by increasing the oxygen flow to your brain and lowering your heart rate.
You can also try progressive muscle relaxation, where you tense and relax one body part at a time. Another option is meditation. If you’re new to meditating, look up guided meditation exercises online. Many free audio and video recordings are available for you to use. Some people have also reported success with hypnosis or self-hypnosis.
The sound of the drill can be stressful for some. If this is the case for you, bring headphones to the dentist’s office. You can listen to music, audiobooks, nature sounds, or other recordings on your phone or tablet to keep your mind off the procedure.
If your dental anxiety is more severe, consider sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry involves administering a sedative to help you stay relaxed during your procedure. Hunt Valley Dental offers sedation dentistry to reduce the symptoms of dental anxiety. We customize the dosage to fit your unique needs, and the protocol has been safely used on many patients.
We want your dental experience to be a positive one. Call Hunt Valley Dental today to schedule a consultation and learn how sedation dentistry can ease your dental anxiety.