Millions of people experience a phenomenon known as dental anxiety, which can prevent them from seeking the essential oral health care everyone needs. Dental anxiety is a real problem, and if you suffer from it, you know how crippling it can be. While it seems like your anxiety is telling you to ignore the dentist, we want to encourage you to confront your fears with new knowledge and helpful tools to cope.
- SPEAK UP ABOUT YOUR FEARS
The most important step in addressing your dental anxiety is to speak up. Don’t hesitate to tell our team member as you’re scheduling your appointment about anything that makes you nervous or uncomfortable.
2. AGREE ON A SIGNAL
Some patients feel anxious because they can’t talk or move once the dental procedure starts. That’s why we suggest agreeing on a signal, such as raising your left hand.
If at any point you feel anxious or uncomfortable during your appointment, just make the signal and we will pause to let you take a break.
3. BRING A DISTRACTION
Do you have a favorite podcast or playlist? Bring your headphones so you can listen to something that will distract your mind and help you relax during your visit. A stress ball or fidget spinner can also be helpful.
4. PRACTICE MINDFULNESS
Before your dental visit, take 5 minutes to sit in a comfortable space. Breathe in slowly for four counts, then breathe out for four counts. Repeat 5 times.
5. ATTEND REGULARLY
Even though anxiety may tempt you to skip appointments, getting regular care can lead to better outcomes overall. When your dental concerns are dealt with right away, you won’t develop serious problems that may require invasive or uncomfortable treatments.
If dental anxiety has kept you from seeing a dentist in recent years, your next step is finding a dentist you trust. When you’re ready, schedule a non-invasive exam first, then work your way toward the more extensive treatments you may need. We want every patient to receive the dental care necessary for a healthy life!