Easing Dental Anxiety: Coping Methods that Can Help

Posted by Willow Glen Dental Care Mar 07,2023

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Dental phobia is a very common issue among patients. It is estimated that as many as 15% of Americans avoid going to the dentist due to fear. Dental phobia is a fear that is specific to dental settings, and dental fear is a general feeling of anxiety. Dental phobia is an intense fear or anxiety that causes patients to avoid the dentist. Dental fear can cause patients to avoid the dentist altogether, or it can make patients anxious about getting dental treatment, which can result in dental anxiety.

Discuss your dental fears with your dentist

It’s normal to feel some anxiety or fear before visiting a dentist. However, you do not have to deal with those negative emotions alone. Talk to your dentist about your fears and work together to overcome them. A good bonding between a patient and his or her dentist can encourage open communication and create a safe and caring environment. With proper communication between the patient and dentist, the patients can be less anxious and more relaxed. Your dentist will also explain all the procedures and techniques that he or she uses so you can understand why they’re being used. You can also ask any question that you may have regarding a procedure or medication. This can help remove at least some of the fear of the unknown from the patient’s mind. 

Bring your friend or family member for support

It is normal for patients to feel anxious during their visit to the dentist’s office. However, bringing a friend or a family member can relieve some of your worries. Having someone by your side can also help you feel more at ease during the procedure. 

Bring distractions to occupy your mind during procedures

Bring a book or movie that you enjoy. Some patients find it helpful to bring headphones to listen to their favorite music during the appointment to help them stay distracted and relaxed. Others prefer to bring a stress ball to squeeze in their hands in between the procedure. You can also bring a book to read during your spare time at the dentist’s office.

Agree on a signal with the dentist

Some patients get anxious about dental procedures, and this anxiety gets worse during long procedures. When the procedure gets longer, you might feel uncomfortable in the dental chair and might want to take a break. That is why you need to agree on a signal with your dentist that you can use to let your dentist know when you need to take a break. This way, you can finish the procedure without any further interruptions or risks.

Consider sedation dentistry

Sedation dentistry uses medication to relieve anxiety or pain during a procedure. Two types of sedation are oral sedation and IV sedation. Check with your dentist to see which one is right for you. Oral sedation is taken by mouth in the form of a pill. This can make you groggy and relaxed during the dental visit. An advantage of oral sedation is that it is less expensive than IV sedation. IV sedation is administered intravenously through a vein in the arm. It provides a deeper level of relaxation and tends to be more expensive than oral sedation. 

Get in touch with Willow Glen Dental Care at 1600 Willow St, Suite 203, San Jose, CA 95125, or call (408) 978-0911 to learn more about dental services. 

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