Dental fear or anxiety is a common condition that affects many people. It's often the result of a bad experience at the dental office. However, some people remain fearful of dental visits, even if they've never had a bad experience. The fear can cause them to avoid the dentist and neglect their oral health.
Discuss your dental fears with your dentist
Many patients feel anxious about visiting their dentists. This nervousness may stem from fear of pain, needles, or uncertainty about the exam process. Discussing these feelings with your professional dentist can help ease your worries and give you the reassurance you need to continue with regular visits.
Tell your hygienist or dentist about your fears and explain that you're experiencing anxiety about the visit. Your dentist may recommend options for easing your anxiety during your visits. These may include taking advantage of relaxation techniques like listening to music on headphones, taking deep breaths, or focusing on the sensations of breathing.
Agree on a signal for the dentist to stop the procedure when you're in pain
Discuss pain tolerance levels with your dentist. Ask if he will stop a procedure or administer more anesthetics if you're in pain. Also, discuss signals you can use to request him to stop the process immediately. Consider agreeing to a "stop" signal that will let your dentist know if you're in need of a break from the procedure so you can regain your composure.
Ask a friend or family member to accompany you for emotional support
If you or your loved one is anxious about visiting a dentist's office, it can be helpful to bring a family member or friend along for support. Having someone there to talk to and keep you distracted can help you get through your appointment with ease.
Bring distractions to occupy your mind during procedures
Distracting yourself from the treatment can really help you stay calm. Some common distractions are listening to music, watching your favorite TV show or movie, and chatting with your dentist. A dentist who interacts with you throughout the procedure can be an effective distraction as well, so be sure to ask your dentist questions during the appointment. Taking a sedative can help put you into a relaxed state to completely block out any feelings of anxiety. Talk to your dentist about your options and which option is best for you.
Consider sedation dentistry
Sedation dentistry is used when a patient is struggling with anxiety or fear related to dental treatments. Sedatives can be given orally or intravenously, depending on the level of sedation required and the overall health of the patient.
To learn more, contact Healthy Smiles of Saint Louis at 4224 Watson Rd, St. Louis, MO 63109, or call (314) 832-1366.
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