For many people, the prospect of going to the dentist can be a daunting one. This fear and anxiety can manifest itself in various ways—from simply avoiding dental appointments to full-blown panic attacks when faced with the thought of visiting a dentist’s office. It’s important to remember that severe dental anxiety is a very real problem and it needs to be addressed. Here are some tips on how to get past dental anxiety and make your next visit to the dentist more pleasant.
1. Find A Dentist You Trust
The best way to overcome dental anxiety is to find a dentist and dental practice you trust. Spend some time researching local dentists and read reviews from other patients.
Ask friends or family members if they have any recommendations for good dentists in the area.
Once you find a dental setting that you feel comfortable with, set up an appointment for a consultation so you can get acquainted before your first appointment.
2. Prepare Yourself Ahead of Time
It can be helpful to prepare yourself mentally before going in for an appointment.
Take a few moments beforehand to practice deep breathing, read positive affirmations aloud, or meditate on calming thoughts. This will help keep you relaxed during the appointment and reduce any feelings of anxiety or fear.
3. Understand Your Treatment Options
Having knowledge about what treatment options are available can help ease your nerves when it comes time for your appointment.
Talk to your dentist about what procedures will be done during the visit and ask questions if there is anything that you don’t understand.
Knowing exactly what will happen during your dental appointments can help alleviate some of your dental fear by giving you a better understanding of the dental procedure.
4. Utilize Relaxation Techniques
Try taking deep breaths or listening to music while you wait for your appointment. These coping strategies can help distract you from any negative thoughts that may arise while waiting in the office.
Additionally, if possible, try speaking with your dentist prior to beginning any treatment—this way, they can talk you through each step as it happens and explain what they are doing as they go along.
This will help create familiarity with the process which may help reduce any feelings of unease or severe anxiety associated with dental visits.
5. Bring A Friend Or Family Member Along
Having someone else with you during your dental appointment can make a huge difference in terms of reducing anxiety levels.
Ask a friend or family member who makes you feel comfortable and secure if they would come along for moral support during the procedure; having someone familiar nearby might just be enough to calm any nerves or fears that arise while at the dentist office.
Effects Of Dental Anxiety
Dental phobia can prevent many individuals from receiving necessary dental care and long-term dental health treatment. The effects can range from gum disease to even more serious illnesses due to inadequate dental hygiene or dental treatment.
Research shows that avoiding dental visits due to dental anxiety leads to higher levels of decay, disease, poor oral health and other dental health problems that could have been prevented with proper care. It has lasting implications for an individual’s overall oral and physical health, greatly impacting their quality of life.
Dental anxiety is very real and should not be taken lightly; however, it is manageable with these tips! Talking openly about your fears and anxieties with your dentist can also be beneficial since he/she knows how best to address them and make sure that all of your visits are as comfortable as possible! Remember, it’s always important to take care of yourself—so don’t let dental fears and anxieties keep you from getting the proper dental care that you need! So don’t hesitate, reach out today and start overcoming those anxieties!