Easing Dental Anxiety: Coping Methods that Can Help

Easing Dental Anxiety: Coping Methods that Can Help

Dental anxiety or fear of the dentist is very common. It can be mild discomfort or an extreme fear of the dentist. It affects the way you feel about your dental health and can result in delayed or skipped dental appointments.

Discuss your dental fear with your dentist

Discuss your fear before the procedure. Your dentist should have all the information about your past treatment history. This way, they will know you better and will make a treatment plan according to your requirements. Also, you can share the details of your fear with your dentist. He or she will understand your situation and recommend the treatment accordingly. It is the best way to involve you in the decision-making process. Your dentist will discuss every treatment option in detail and help you make a decision. You should also discuss the pain tolerance level with your dentist beforehand. This will help you in choosing the best anesthetic option for you. Proper planning can ease your anxiety and help in making you feel comfortable throughout the treatment.

Agree on a signal if needed

You and your dentist should agree on a signal in case you feel pain during the procedure. This can help your dentist to adjust their treatment to minimize discomfort. 

Take a friend or family member for support

Are you nervous or anxious? Do you have a fear of dentists? If so, bring a family member or friend to your appointments. Having someone you trust with you will help ease your concerns. Your loved one can be there to support and cheer you on as you go through your procedure. Remember, their support and encouragement can help!

Bring distractions to occupy your mind during procedures

If you are nervous about your procedure, bring a distraction to help you occupy your mind during the procedure. A book, music, or your favorite movie can help you relax and feel less anxious about the upcoming treatment. If your dentist doesn’t mind, consider bringing headphones to help block out the noises around you and focus on the distraction at hand.

Be sure to practice relaxation methods such as deep breathing or meditation prior to your appointments. Practicing these skills throughout the duration of your appointment can help ease tension in your mind and decrease your anxiety.

Consider sedation dentistry

Sedation dentistry helps you experience painless and comfortable dental treatments. Gum tissue becomes numbed, and the person experiences no pain at all during the procedure. You can relax and snooze off while the treatment is underway. Sedation dentistry is especially helpful for people who suffer from severe anxiety or fear of visiting the dentist. The dentist administers sedatives orally or by IV to make patients feel relaxed and calm. During the process, the blood pressure lowers, and oxygen flow in the body decreases. As a result, the patient feels drowsy and calm.

Oral sedation involves taking sedative pills about an hour before the scheduled appointment. The patient may feel groggy for the rest of the day; the person will be awake throughout the treatment but will have no memory of the procedure later. You shouldn’t drive yourself home after oral sedation. You might become dizzy and disoriented because of decreased oxygen flow in your body. 

To learn more about our dental procedures, schedule an appointment with Bergeron Dental by calling us at (907) 456-5600 or visiting our dental office located at 3112 Airport Way, Suite 2, Fairbanks, AK 99709.

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