Overcoming Dental Anxiety
Dental anxiety and phobia are very common. It is estimated that 9-20% of Americans avoid going to the dentist due to fear or trauma from a past dental experience. However, we believe that the right dental team will ensure not only your dental health is taken care of, but your emotional health as well. Although it can be easy to avoid, maintaining regular dental visits helps detect developing dental problems early, therefore minimizing the amount of treatment needed to bring you back to optimal dental health. Below are several strategies to help alleviate dental anxiety and make your dental visit a more comfortable process.
Tell us about your fear
It is important for us here at Sonja Sproul Dentistry to know about your dental anxiety. We want to be informed about your past experiences and triggers to make sure we give you a positive experience. Don’t be afraid of asking questions or informing your dentist if you are uncomfortable. Good communication between the patient and dental team makes the appointment go more smoothly and comfortably.
Think of a distraction
Distractions are helpful aids in keeping your mind off of where you are and what is going on. Bringing headphones and listening to music or a podcast helps block out the sounds of treatment provided. Practicing deep breathing, by inhaling and exhaling slowly can help relax your mind and body.
Use an appointment aid
Often times it is helpful to bring a trusted family member or friend with you to your first visit. It is also wise to make your appointment during a time of day that you may be less anxious. If a later in the day appointment will cause extra stress to build-up throughout the day, make the appointment in the morning to help alleviate added anxiety. For any dental appointments that will require treatment, ask the dentist about nitrous oxide or oral sedation. These additional medications are available and used to help calm nerves and allow you to better relax during the procedures.