When you think about going to the dentist, do your palms get sweaty or does your heart start to race? You are not alone. Dental anxiety affects up to 24% of the population. Dental anxiety or dental phobia spans a full spectrum of disturbance – from minor nerves to severe, debilitating anxiety or fear. It is a real fear, but one that is common and one that can be overcome. Here are a few ways you can overcome fear and ensure you get the dental care you need.
- 1. Talk About It
- Dental anxiety is often fueled by the fear of the unknown. Simply communicating with your dentist or hygienist can help significantly. The more you know about what to expect during your dental visit, the more prepared and at ease you will be.
- 2. Time It
- While you do want to be on time for your dental appointment and not rush into the dental chair, it is probably not a good idea that you arrive too early for your appointment. A long time sitting in the waiting room can make it difficult to fight anxious thoughts and fears.
- 3. Personalize It
- When we are familiar with our surroundings, we are less afraid or nervous. This includes sights, sounds, and even scents. Try to personalize your dental experience by bringing headphones t and your favorite music to listen to, or ask to have aromatherapy device with a familiar scent in the treatment room. Many dental offices now have TVs in the treatment rooms; ask if you can watch your favorite movie or show. Your dentist will work with you to make you feel comfortable and in control of your experience.
- 4. Sleep Through It
- If you are still struggling to feel at ease at the dentist, consult with your dentist about sleep dentistry options. There are a variety of sedation levels depending on your particular level of anxiety and preference. Park South Dentistry offers sedation dentistry that is safe and effective, including nitrous oxide for your preventative, restorative or cosmetic dental procedure.
Overcoming or finding ways to cope with your dental phobia is an invaluable gift to your smile. Not only can you benefit from the dental care you need for optimal oral health, but you can also take advantage of the latest in cosmetic dentistry so that you can have the smile you have always wanted.