Dental anxiety is a fear surrounding the dental setting and treatment. It’s fairly common, with about 36 percent of the population suffering from fear of the dentist and an additional 12 percent with severe dental anxiety. Those with dental anxiety face serious repercussions, such as avoiding necessary and recommended dental care and procedures.
Overcoming your dental anxiety is vital for the health of your teeth — and the rest of your body. These coping methods can help you manage your dental anxiety and receive treatment.
Talk With Your Dentist
You may feel like the dentist is the last person you want to speak to about your fear. However, letting them know your concerns can help them serve you better. With this open line of communication, they can provide solutions and work with you if you feel there is something they can do to help improve your experience. This may include allowing you to listen to music, watch a show, or provide sedation dentistry.
They can also walk you through the steps of your treatment or procedure, which can help you feel more comfortable since you will know what to expect.
Meditation and Muscle Relaxation
When you’re worried or anxious, it may feel difficult to concentrate on meditating, but it’s actually much simpler than you think. It’s a great exercise to reduce your stress and make your body feel calm and relaxed.
After you’ve taken a seat, close your eyes or focus on one thing in the room, and then allow the rest of your body to relax. Focus on your breathing: Deep inhales, long exhales. Remove your tongue from the roof of your mouth, unclench your jaw, and feel the rest of your body release tension. Practice at home first and then try it at an appointment.
Bring a Friend or Family Member
Having someone with you to distract you, keep you calm, and comfort you provides the necessary support you may need to get through your dentist appointment. You can even ask the dentist if they can come back to the exam room with you.
Try Sedation Dentistry
If all else fails, sedation dentistry is a technique many patients use to improve comfort and resolve anxiety. Not only will sedation dentistry relieve pain, but it also reduces the nervous system response that causes dental anxiety.
Plus, it’s completely safe. Dr. Samuel F. Jirik, DDS, has been offering patients IV sedation since 1997, so you can feel confident you are in capable hands.
If you’re in need of dental care in Cabot, AR, but struggle with dental anxiety, schedule a consultation with Dr. Jirik to discuss sedation dentistry. Contact Implant Cosmetic & General Dentistry today at (501) 843-9561.