Living with any anxieties or phobias is no laughing matter. This is especially true when these fears affect your ability to get the treatment that could improve your health.
Many people live in silent fear of going to the dentist. If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. You may be scared of dental procedures, not being in control, or even the tools we use to treat you. Added to these, worries over pain and discomfort are very common.
So often, severe phobias can stop you from getting treatment — even when you desperately need treatment and are experiencing lots of dental pain.
If you’re living with dental phobia, there are ways you can overcome your fears and get the essential treatment you need to improve your oral health. Read on for some tips for fighting dental anxiety.
Come While It’s Quiet
We know nothing is worse than a busy waiting room when you feel stressed or anxious. The hustle and bustle of people moving about, chatting, using their phones, or even rustling the pages of a magazine can become intense when you’re on edge.
If possible, book your appointment for the quietest time of the day. Speak to our team when arranging your appointment; let them know you’re anxious, and they can help.
Talk About It
As dentists, we’re very used to helping people that are scared of their treatment, the discomfort, or their dental problems getting worse. We’re here to help you achieve the best possible standard of oral health, but sometimes fears get in the way.
Talking through what you’re specifically worried about will help us determine the best way to treat you. We can slow the treatment down and take it at your pace, or even come up with a way of communicating that you need a minute to breathe and calm down when you’re unable to speak.
Bring a Friend
Being in the dentist’s chair can feel overwhelming to some. We know that having support with you can help you find a sense of calm in the moment, which allows us to continue.
It’s always worth bringing a close friend, partner, or family member to your appointment, as they can often drive you home if you’ve had an anaesthetic. But if you start feeling anxious while we’re treating you, having them by your side, holding your hand, or reassuring you can make a huge difference.
It’s amazing what a difference taking a few deep breaths can make. Deep breathing tricks the nervous system into thinking that any perceived threat or danger has gone away.
When stressed, we’re flushed with stress hormones that engage the fight or flight response. Breathing becomes rapid and vital oxygen is routed to the muscles, ready to react.
Slow, deep breathing with long pauses between breaths helps reroute the oxygen to the brain, calming you down in the process.
Ask About Sedation
IV sedation is a great way to manage your dental phobia so you can get essential treatment. While sedated, you’ll remain awake. But you’ll be completely calm and in an almost dream-like state. Many people find that they have little recollection of their treatment when sedated.
Sedation can leave you drowsy after your appointment, so it’s always important to bring someone along and have them drive you home.
Fight Your Fears With Advance Dental Clinic
Anxieties around dental treatments are difficult to deal with, but with the right dentist and appropriate strategies in place, it’s possible to enjoy better oral health without fear.
Call us today and talk to our friendly and supportive team about sedation dentistry and other ways we can help during your next appointment.