Dental phobia, or fear of the dentist, affects millions of people around the world. Dental phobia may stem from a bad experience in childhood, or it could be a fear of needles, drills, or other tools. Whatever the case, dental phobia can cause severe anxiety and prevent patients from visiting the dentist.
Discuss your fears with the dentist
Talking about your fear can help alleviate it. During an appointment, talk to your dentist about your fear. Tell him about what causes you anxiety and how severe it is. Discuss with him possible solutions and techniques you can use. You can agree on a signal that you will use when you want to stop the procedure. Knowing this will make you more comfortable during the visit.
Talk to your dentist about any medication you are taking and if it may interfere with sedatives. You should also inform him of any health condition you have or have had in the past. Talk about the anesthetics that will be used for your procedure. Find out how long your appointment will last and what it will entail. Ask which type of anesthesia will work best for you or if oral conscious sedation is necessary.
Agree on a signal
It is important to let your dentist know if you experience anxiety or discomfort during treatments. You can simply raise your hand or give the signal agreed upon between you and your dentist when you need a break or if you feel uncomfortable. Your dentist will then stop the procedure and let you breathe for a while before continuing with the treatment. Once you calm your nerves, you can resume the treatment. You can also ask your dentist to take a break in between procedures for a breather. This can help in calming your nerves as well. Do not agree to a procedure that you do not feel completely comfortable doing. Instead, talk it out with your dentist and agree on what is best for you.
Take a friend or family member with you for emotional support
When you are visiting the dentist for the first time or experiencing a new procedure, it’s natural to experience anxiety. Having someone there to accompany you and support you can make a difference in your confidence and comfort during the appointment. Knowing that someone else is there who can give you a hand to hold onto or some assurance about how well you are doing can make things go more smoothly. As a bonus, having someone to vent to about the experience can help you better cope with the emotions you are feeling.
Bring distractions to occupy your mind during procedures
You may want to bring a distraction with you to your appointment so that you can occupy your mind with something unrelated to your procedure. Try bringing a book, magazine, music player, or movie to distract yourself. If you wear headphones, you can bring these in as well and listen to your favorite song or podcast. These activities can take your mind off of what is happening in your mouth and allow you to relax.
Consider sedation dentistry.
If you’ve tried everything to ease your anxiety and still fear dental treatments, talk to your dentist about sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry refers to the use of sedative drugs to calm anxiety and relax patients during their dental procedure. There are different types of sedation that dentists can choose from. These include nitrous oxide or laughing gas and oral conscious sedation. The most appropriate type for you will be discussed by your dentist before the procedure. Typically, you will be given instructions on how to take the pill an hour before the appointment, and you will need to have someone drive you home after the treatment. Other types of sedation can be discussed during the treatment. After the treatment, you will feel tired and may even fall asleep for a few hours. You will not be able to drive home on your own, so make sure that you arrange a ride to and from the dentist’s office beforehand.
Visit Homeland Avenue Dentistry at 1037 Homeland Ave, Greensboro, NC 27405, or call (336) 272-0132 for more information or to schedule an appointment with our team!
1037 Homeland Ave, Greensboro, NC 27405
MON - THU 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
FRI - SUN Closed
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (336) 272-0132