Dental phobia, or anxiety about a procedure such as getting a crown or having a root canal, or even getting a filling, is not uncommon. Following are five ways to calm dental anxiety and get the care you need to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
Discuss your anxiety with your dentist and the staff
Part of your fear can stem from a lack of knowledge about the procedure and what’s going to happen. Communicating your unease provides the staff with an opportunity to help. Understanding your anxiety, your dentist at Couture Smiles Dental Group chats with you and asks you how you’re feeling about the work to be done.
You don’t have to expend energy trying to hide anxiety. Just saying you’re anxious and naming the feeling can help release nervous energy.
We’re a family practice, and we treat many people who are anxious before appointments. To help calm your anxiety, we describe exactly what’s going to happen during each part of the process. Knowledge is power, and knowing what to expect beforehand can really improve your comfort level.
Your dentist talks with you about the pleasure you’ll experience in having a tooth that’s restored — or an end to the pain of an infected tooth.
Work out a hand signal if you need a break
Your dentist can also work out a “timeout” hand signal, such as raising your hand, if you need your dentist to pause. We want you to feel comfortable in asking for a moment if you need it.
Everyone likes some type of music. Bring your earbuds and music you like with you — it’s available right on your phone. You can get a free month’s trial of a streaming service if you don’t have such a service already.
Listening to your favorite music can take you to another place mentally and emotionally so that you don’t have such an intense focus on the dental procedure.
Avoid caffeine and take a walk
If you’re nervous before your dental appointment, avoid that cup o’ joe. You don’t need the extra jolt that caffeine gives your body. Caffeine stimulates your nervous system; you want to calm it down before your appointment. Have a cup of chamomile tea instead; it’s been used since Roman times to calm stress.
If you’re a regular at the gym, work out before your dental appointment. Exercise raises your endorphins and reduces stress. Even walking for 30 minutes can lessen your dental anxiety.
Ask for dental sedation
If none of the above strategies calms your anxiety, sometimes the answer is better living through chemistry. Couture Smiles Dental Group is committed to patient comfort; therefore, we invest in several types of sedation. We work with you to determine whether sedation is needed and, if so, which type of sedation you prefer. The bottom line is this: Your comfort is our priority.
We offer various types of sedation. During conscious sedation, you’re fully awake but completely relaxed. You’re able to answer questions and communicate with the dentist. We also offer shorter and longer-acting medication that makes you sleepy. You need a driver to take you home if you choose one of these methods to calm anxiety.
Call or book an appointment online with Couture Smiles Dental Group for all of your dental needs.