Every year, many people avoid the dentist until they feel pain or experience a dental emergency. This can be due to dental anxiety. According to a Harvard study, 24% of people suffer from dental anxiety.
To help those struggling with dental anxiety, we created a list of tips and tricks for patients to utilize when they start feeling dental anxiety.
6 Ways To Help Cope With Your Dental Anxiety
- Communicate with your dentist. Voice your fears and explain your feelings to your dentist. If you are afraid of pain or needles they may need to be able to assess the situation and help you in the best way possible. Also, here at Alrez Family Dentistry, we can use laughing gas for patients that are feeling extra nervous. For more information, check out our laughing gas page.
- Think of a communication system with your dentist. When you’re not able to talk and you feel confined to a chair, this can trigger some anxiety without even realizing it. If you feel like you relate to this, you and your dentist can come up with a system that when you raise your hand it means it’s time for a small break. That will help you feel more in control of the situation.
- Feeling embarrassed Is a common emotion during a dental visit. Many feel embarrassed about the state of their dental health, but try and remind yourself that your dentist has seen it all. If you’re feeling embarrassed, remember that this is normally due to overthinking.
- Distracting yourself is a great way to get some anxiety relief. This is easier said than done, but you can bring a book for the waiting room or headphones to drown out the sound of a drill while you listen to your favorite music or podcast. You can try using a stress ball or a fidget spinner to occupy your hands.
- Address any past negative experiences you may have with your dentist. Dental anxiety sometimes stems from past negative experiences. This can be due to a careless dental staff or some pain you felt during treatment. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, try and pinpoint what experience upset you and how to work through that. Once you know, you can talk with your dentist so they can understand how to best help you and how to care for your dental anxiety.
- If you’re still feeling anxious after trying all of these tips, try returning to the basics. Start by taking a few deep breaths while counting them. Count for how long you inhale and exhale for the same amount of time. Try and relax all your muscles one at a time. Start with your head and relax way down to your toes.
Comfortable and Clean Office Made For You
Alrez Family Dentistry wants to help ease any anxiety you might feel. We have a modern and comfortable office along with the supplies needed to give all patients a successful visit. Our staff and doctors are here for you and are happy to listen to any concerns. We are currently accepting new patients and we are following COVID-19 guidelines to protect our staff and patients, contact us today to make an appointment.