Going to the dentist can be challenging for those who experience dental anxiety. Dentists have becomes increasingly sensitive to patients who experience distress at visiting the dentist as it ends up hurting good dental and overall health.
While a good dentist will help patients deal with dental anxiety, here are a few helpful strategies that can keep you in the dentist chair!
A common and helpful strategy for dealing with extreme stress is to allow your mind to separate just a little bit from the present moment. A safe way to do this is to practice visualization.
For example, visualize yourself in a different environment while you’re sitting in the dentist chair. Perhaps you could relive moments from your most recent vacation or visualize yourself doing a favorite activity. Another option is to tackle a complicated problem or puzzle. This gives your mind something to work with, providing a welcome distraction from anxiety.
Bring Something or Someone to Help
Security can be found in a variety of ways – there’s a reason why they are called “security blankets” for kids. Some patients are comforted by warm, fleece blankets as they sit in a dentist chair. Others are comforted by relaxing music that helps them disconnect from the anxiety of visiting the dentist.
Before heading to your appointment, choose a favorite object to bring with you, whether that’s your iPod, a teddy bear, a favorite sweatshirt, or even your best friend. This favorite object or person can help bring peace and calm into a stressful situation.
Don’t Forget About Sedation
Sedation dentistry offers a flexible way to deal with dental anxiety that has only increased in popularity over the last few years. Sedation dentistry comprises different levels of medication that can help patients deal with dental anxiety at different levels.
The most basic – and well known – sedation technique at the dentist is referred to as “Happy Gas,” but is actually called Nitrous Oxide. This strategy for dealing with dental anxiety is safe and temporary, providing relief from anxiety but allowing patients to remain aware of their surroundings. The most complicated dental sedation technique is anaesthesia, which is used most commonly during oral surgery and requires special certification to perform in a dentist office.
Other forms of sedation include pills that are prescribed by the dentist for specific uses that allow patients different levels of awareness during certain procedures. You might be able to speak and respond with use of these medications but not able to feel pain – this can be quite helpful to someone with dental anxiety!
Talk with Your Dentist
Dentists work hard to have open, thoughtful communication with patients. This helps patients make wise decisions about their dental health, and helps form a strong relationship of trust between dentist and patient.
Help build a strong relationship with your dentist by talking about your dental anxiety directly. Your dentist only wants to help, and may have a variety of strategies to offer that can lower your levels of dental anxiety!
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Kelly Wilson is a freelance writer for health and wellness issues who deals with dental anxiety but has not stopped for regular dental checkups who recommends this dentist in Monroe, WA for comfortable dental care.