What is shocking, but also understandable, is the fact that about 40 million Americans avoid the dentist because they are scared or anxious. This anxiety is common, but it is important to find ways to overcome those nerves and get the oral health care you need to remain healthy and happy.
Many people are anxious about dental visits because they associated going to the dentist with pain. However, others worry that a dentist might ignore their concerns because they are rushed. If dental anxiety is not addressed, it can lead to oral health problems and complications that will require even more dental treatment. To help, here are some ways to minimize and eliminate dental anxiety.
Develop trust and open communication
A key factor to overcoming dental anxiety is good communication with you and your dentist. When you feel informed and in control, it can help to minimize anxiety. It will also help establish trust between you and the dentist.
It is common to feel some level of anxiety when visiting the doctor or dentist. However, it shouldn’t prevent access to appropriate and needed care. Dentists are trained to treat patients with anxiety, so it is important to remain open and honest.
Share your fears
If you are nervous or feeling anxious, it is important that you tell your dentist or a member of the dental team. By expressing your concerns and fears, Dr. Sara can alter her treatment to your needs. We want to make sure you feel comfortable and at ease when you are here.
Focus your breathing
Another key factor to keep in mind is to focus your breathing regularly and slowly during dental procedures. When we are nervous, we tend to hold our breath. Whether we realize it or not, holding our breath can decrease oxygen levels and increase feelings of unease and panic. Meditation techniques encourage us to focus on slow, regular breathing to reduce stress.
Listen to music
Does the sound of the drill bother you? If it does, check with your dentist to see if you can bring in headphones so you can listen to music, a podcast or soothing noises–whatever helps calm your nerves. Sometimes your favorite music can make all the difference.
Pay attention to what you eat and drink
Before your appointment, try to avoid caffeine and eat a high protein meal. Unlike sugary foods, this can produce a calming effect. Additionally, caffeine often heightens nerves and puts you on edge, so avoiding it prior to your appointment can help you feel more calm and at ease.
We are here to help you, so please reach out if you are nervous or anxious. We want to make your visit to Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry a breeze!