How to Overcome Dental Fear and Anxiety?
It is very normal for you to get a little worried before visiting a dentist. But, if this is stopping you from getting the help you need, you are experiencing dental anxiety. This usually happens when you have had a bad experience in the past. If you avoid seeking treatment until the condition becomes overwhelming, it will affect both your oral health and well-being.
At Dr. Richard Wilczek, our professional staff is friendly and ready to provide you with personalized assistance. We will answer all your questions to ensure you feel comfortable before any procedure.
Dental anxiety can affect people of all ages. Some may even have trouble sleeping the night before an oral check-up. It is very important for you to overcome this fear to maintain good oral health. If not, you may have to undergo more complex treatments later.
We have collated a few tips to help with your dental anxiety:
Practice Relaxation Techniques
Coping techniques such as deep breathing, meditation and progressive muscle relaxation are excellent at handling stress. They help reduce your anxiety levels.
Take a Friend or a Relative with You
You can ask your friend or a family member to accompany you to the appointment. This is great for moral support and will put your mind at ease.
Talk to Your Dentist About Your Fears
Are you afraid of pain or needles? You should talk to your dentist to help deal with such fears. If you can’t talk during the treatment, find a way to non-verbally communicate any discomfort to your doctor. They can prescribe different treatment plans, some of which are listed below.
- Nitrous oxide, also called laughing gas, is used to relax patients during dental procedures. The effect of this gas wears off in a few minutes. Although you will be awake, you won’t remember much from this period.
- Your dentist can prescribe oral anxiety-relieving medications such as temazepam. You should take a small dose about one hour before the appointment. As driving under anxiolytic medication is unsafe, you will need to have someone escort you to the clinic.
- If you have an unrelenting fear of the dentist, sedation is the best option for you. Intravenous sedation is administered via a drip and is great at calming patients; they may respond to verbal prompts or drift off to sleep. Side-effects like drowsiness and nausea are not uncommon in this case.
- Some dentists use general anesthesia. It puts the patient to sleep and requires a longer recovery time compared with other methods of sedation.
Select the Right Dentist for Yourself
Ask your family and friends for recommendations or do some online research. Choose a dentist who is empathetic about your fears and wants to help. Our team at Dr. Richard Wilczek is compassionate and happy to offer their services.
Ask Your Dentist to Explain Everything About the Procedure
Your dentist should explain the entire procedure in detail and must ask for your permission before going ahead. Feel free to talk to them about your confusions and apprehensions.
Use a Distraction
If you are afraid of the sounds of drills and suction tubes, use earplugs or noise-canceling headphones. They take your mind off what’s happening around and calm you down.
Avoid Certain Foods
Avoid drinking carbonated beverages and drinks high in caffeine before going for a dental appointment. Avoid sugary foods as they increase your anxiety levels.
Instead, eat high-protein foods that produce a calming effect.
If your children have dental anxiety, talk to them. Listen to their worries and tell them it’s nothing to be ashamed about. Teach them good oral hygiene and take
them for regular visits to the dentist.