• Lara

How To Soothe Your Dental Anxiety

Millions of people worldwide avoid booking an appointment to visit the dentist due to serious dental anxiety even though they know that they urgently need dental care for the wellbeing of their oral health. The term “dental anxiety” is used to describe fear, anxiety, or stress regarding an individual being in a dental setting. Having dental anxiety usually leads to the postponing, delaying, cancelling, or overall avoidance of dental appointments. Dental anxiety is most often triggered by a general dental setting (e.g: office, waiting room, patient room), dental tools (e.g: suction, drills, needles), or by dental employees (e.g: hygienist, dentist). Dental anxiety can stem from trust issues, loss of control, phobias, or negative experiences at the dentist.

If you suffer from dental anxiety, don’t worry… know that you are not alone and it is very common! It doesn’t matter how old you are; children, teenagers, and adults are all susceptible to having dental anxiety. Luckily, there are many ways that you can soothe your dental anxiety so that you can stay on top of your oral health and continue regular dental visits! Here are some different tips on how you can relieve your dental anxiety for your next trip to the dentist:

Get Insight On Your Dental Clinic

A great way to get to know your dental clinic and it’s employees better is by reading online reviews written by other clients based on their real-life experiences. You can easily choose the dental clinic that best suits your needs by doing research on which clinic provides the services you are looking for and the one with the best review section. The honest feedback will help give an authentic perspective into what the dental clinic is like and how the staff treat their clients. This is one of the best ways to truly understand what the dynamic in the clinic is like so you can be put at ease that the dental clinic and staff is an excellent fit for you!

Get To Know The Staff

What better way to relieve dental anxiety than to get to know the amazing team of friendly staff that work at your local dental clinic! Making a connection with each employee that you meet and getting to know them by name will help make each experience a little bit easier as you will be able to have a conversation with them each time you visit. Making a connection will give the staff a great sense of credibility and will allow you to place your trust in them.

Talk To Your Dentist

One of the best ways to combat dental anxiety is by officially meeting your dentist and openly speaking to them about your worries, fears, and anxiety’s when it comes to dentistry. Having an honest conversation can help reduce the amount of stress you feel, your dentist can always provide alternative options to make you feel more comfortable during each visit, and you can work with your dentist to create a dental treatment plan that best suits your needs.

Ask About Available Resources

Your local dental clinic most likely has an abundance of resources available to help make their patients feel more comfortable during their visit to the dentist. As previously mentioned, dental anxiety is very common so your dental clinic is prepared to help give you the best experience possible while at the clinic. If you are still having trouble managing your dental anxiety, try asking for the available resources they may have in the clinic such as video watching while having a procedure done, calming music to listen to, noise-cancellation headphones/earplugs, having a family member or friend keep you company while in the procedure room, warm blankets during a procedure, or hot scented towels for the face and hands after a procedure. Make the most of the available resources to relieve your stress and make your visit more comfortable!

Extra Helpful Tips

  • Ask dentist or hygienist to explain what each tool does

  • Ask dentist or hygienist to explain each step during a procedure

  • Ask for small breaks during procedure if needed

  • Use hand signals during a procedure

  • Use visualization tactics to distract your mind

  • Practice mindfulness before/during/after your visit to the dentist

  • Practice deep breathing before/during/after your visit to the dentist

  • Bring a small, valued item to hold and comfort you during your visit

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