Easing Dental Anxiety: Coping Methods that Can Help

Easing Dental Anxiety: Coping Methods that Can Help

Posted by Dr. James Thurber DDS Mar 05, 2023

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Children are even more afraid of dental visits. They may have heard stories from their friends or relatives about a painful procedure. As a parent, you can help ease your child’s dental fears by talking about your own positive dental experiences.

Discuss your dental fears

After introducing yourself to your dentist, tell him about your anxiety or fear regarding dental treatments. The dentist will assess your condition and recommend treatment accordingly. You can clarify any doubts about the treatment and the procedure with him too. Let him know about previous bad experiences you have had so that he can take necessary precautions during your future appointment. You can also ask him how you can ease your dental fear and anxiety. However, you might not be able to stop feeling anxious all the time, so ask for oral sedation to make your experience better.

Agree on a signal

Most dentists understand that some patients experience fear or anxiety when undergoing dental treatments, such as routine cleanings or restorative treatments. That is why many offices have implemented ways to help you feel safe and relaxed during your visits. One way that they do this is by having you agree on a signal that lets your dentist know if you need to take a break from treatment. This signal can take the form of raising your hand, signaling with a pen, or simply asking the dentist to pause your procedure for a moment. 

Take a friend or family member with you for emotional support

Having someone you know and trust by your side during a dental appointment may help reduce your anxiety. This person can give you moral support as you overcome your fear. Meditation can also help calm you and reduce the feeling of stress.

If your dentist has prescribed an oral sedative for you, your friend or family member can help you take it and stay with you until you fall asleep. Your dentist may prescribe an anti-anxiety medication to help you relax before and during a procedure. In this case, the friend or family member can stay in the waiting room.

Bring distractions to occupy your mind during procedures

There are many kinds of distractions that you can bring during your procedure, including audiobooks, movies, and music even your iPod or iPhone can be used to listen to your favorite playlist to keep you relaxed while the procedure is ongoing. You may also bring someone you trust, like a friend, family member, or partner, to accompany you during the procedure to help you stay calm and relaxed. Some dental offices offer televisions on the ceiling to keep you distracted during treatment as well. Finally, you can discuss treatment options and ask any questions before a procedure is performed to help keep your mind occupied during the appointment.

Consider sedation dentistry

If you are extremely anxious or nervous before visiting your dentist for any procedure, you should consider sedation dentistry. This helps you reach a relaxed state so that you can undergo your treatment without any fear. The sedatives used in this process would numb your nerves and keep you calm throughout the procedure. Hence, you would experience little to no pain during the procedure. Some patients can also fall asleep while undergoing treatment.

Dr. James Thurber DDS, located in Lubbock, TX, has modern amenities and the latest technologies that enable the best dental care facilities for patients. Call us at (806) 745-6644 and book a consultation with the dentist. 

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