If you feel nervous about visiting your dentist’s office, you are not alone. About one-fifth of the global population reports experiencing anxiety about dental work. Dental fear can influence patients to skip their dentist appointments, putting them at risk of developing dental emergencies.
You can work with your dentist to conquer these fears and feel comfortable in the dental chair. Read on for advice from your dentist on how to stay calm during your next dental procedure.
Maintain Open Communication with Your Dentist
The first step in tackling your fear of the dentist is to let your dental professional know how you are feeling. If your dentist is aware of your anxiety, they can work with you to find ways that will make you feel at ease in their care.
Modern dentistry has emphasized improving patient comfort. Your dentist has undergone specific training to address dental fear and how to alleviate it in their patients. When you are upfront about lingering stress, they can make efforts to resolve it sooner.
Your dentist will also maintain open communication with you throughout each step of your dental treatment. If you have questions or concerns about your dental work, do not hesitate to ask. Knowing what to expect from your treatment can help you feel calmer about your dentist appointment.
Plan Relaxation Methods Before Your Visit
Early preparation for the onset of your nerves can help you stay calm during your next dentist appointment. You can plan your arrival at the dentist’s office so that you have enough time to sign in at the front desk without leaving too much time for you to sit in the waiting room and build anxiety before you are called back.
Your dentist may also suggest relaxation techniques to practice before your appointment, including deep breathing exercises. Ask your dentist if you can bring a music player and headphones to listen to during the dental procedure that can help you stay relaxed. Your dentist can offer more tips when you give them a call.
Consider Sedation Options
If you would like a medical method to induce calmness during a dentist appointment, ask your dental professional about sedation dentistry. Your dentist can provide several types of sedation with varying levels of awareness that can help you fight dental fear.
Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is a breathable medicine administered through a mask over the nose or mouth. It makes patients feel relaxed, and the effects wear off as soon as the dentist removes the mask at the end of the dental procedure.
Your dentist may also prescribe oral sedation for patients with dental fear. Patients can take this tablet prior to their visit to give them a relaxed feeling without making them unconscious.
Some people may feel groggy with this medicine, so they should arrange a ride home from the office. Oral sedation can take up to 24 hours to completely wear off.