There are many reasons that can cause patients to be anxious or even fearful about visiting the dentist. For some, it is sweaty palms in the waiting room, for others it is a paralyzing fear that causes them to cancel their dental appointments altogether. What you need to know, however, is that your dental care experience doesn’t have to be as stressful as you predict. There are countless ways that a modern dentist can help you feel relaxed and comfortable throughout your visit.
Why You May Feel Uneasy
It can be one or a combination of the following factors that make you anxious about your upcoming dental appointment:
- Aversion to sights/smells/sounds of dental office (latex, dental drill, etc)
- Feeling too vulnerable
- Space issues (hygienist or dentist is too close)
- Poor experience in the past at the dentist
- Fear of pain or dental needles
- Embarrassment about condition of teeth
- Severe gag reflex
- Trouble sitting still
- Child of parent who avoided the dentist
Regardless of what is causing you to postpone or cancel your next dental appointment, there are ways to help.
Ways to Relieve Dental Phobia
There are a few things you can do on your own to make your next trip to the dentist less stressful. Many patients benefit from ear buds to listen to their favorite music or podcast. Distraction has been proven as a very beneficial tool for people who are nervous or anxious. Consider scheduling your visit on a day that is not already busy or stressful. Some people find that the end of the day is a good time to come in so that their “to do” list is already completed.
Communication is key. It is important to let your dentist know how you are feeling before your visit. There are things we can do to prepare, ranging from relaxing amenities in our treatment rooms to sedation dentistry if needed. It is also a good idea to ask exactly what your appointment will entail so that you can prepare yourself for what’s ahead.
At Rivers + Tanner Family Dentistry, we know that dental anxiety can be a horrible feeling. We are committed to helping every patient feel welcome, calm and encouraged at our dental practice. Regardless of the severity of your dental phobia, we are equipped to help! After all, professional dental care is non-negotiable if you want to keep a healthy mouth and body!