Simple Tricks for Overcoming Dental Anxiety

Simple Tricks for Overcoming Dental Anxiety

Dental phobia is a fear of dentists and dental procedures. It is also known as dental anxiety or dental fear. Dental phobia can cause people to avoid going to the dentist, which puts them at risk for developing serious dental issues.

Discuss your fears with your dentist

Visiting the dentist can be scary for some people. It’s normal to feel tense or anxious when you’re expecting a procedure to be done on your teeth. However, you can tell your dentist about your anxiety so that he or she can help ease the discomfort during your visit. Keep your worries and fears to yourself, though, do not let these get in the way of achieving a healthy mouth and healthy smile. Your dentist should be able to discuss the best pain management options for you as well as alternatives to the procedure that you are afraid of. 

Agree on a signal

If visiting the dentist makes you nervous, you can talk to him or her about a signal you can use to let you know that you need a break or you need to stop the process altogether. This way, both you and the dentist are aware of your condition, and you can work together to prep for a visit accordingly. 

Take a friend or family member for support

Ask your dentist if you can have someone accompany you in the treatment room. A trusted companion can help comfort you by distracting you and letting you focus on something other than your procedure. Your dentist may encourage you to bring headphones or music to listen to during your treatment. Bringing someone you trust can also lessen any anxiety you may have about your dental treatments.

You can also ask your dentist about other relaxation techniques that you can use to remain calm throughout your visit. Some practices offer aromatherapy to help patients relax during their visit. Others allow patients to bring their own music to play during treatment. Listen to calming music for an added sense of peace while you receive your dental care. You may also be able to watch television or use a mobile device to stay distracted during your procedure.

Bring distractions

Distractions can take your mind off a procedure or treatment at the dentist’s office. It can also help reduce your anxiety and tension over visiting the dentist. Some patients bring a book with them to read while in the waiting room, and others have hand-held video games to play. Some people bring a music player and listen to their favorite songs. Others play games on their smartphones. Your local dentist can recommend some distractions for you to keep your mind occupied in the chair.

Consider sedation dentistry

Sedation dentistry is a type of treatment that utilizes sedatives to help you relax during a procedure. Sedatives can be administered orally or intravenously. Oral sedation is often preferred by patients because it is easy to control the level of medication in your system, while IV sedation takes effect more quickly. With oral sedation, your dentist will prescribe you a pill to take an hour before your appointment. This pill will make you drowsy and sleepy during the procedure. 

With the sleep dentistry technique, you will lie back in a reclining chair and receive the medication through an IV. As the medicine takes effect, you will be completely unconscious for the procedure. You won’t remember your time with your sedation dentist at all. Many patients who have never received sedation dentistry compare it to “taking a nap.” You will wake up refreshed after your sleep dentistry treatment and will have no memory of your dental appointment. Ask your sedation dentist if sleep dentistry is a good option for you.

To learn more or to schedule an appointment with us, visit our office, Midtown Dental, at 750 George Washington Way, Richland, WA, Suite 1 99352. You can also reach us at (509) 946-1678.


750 George Washington Way,
Richland, WA, Suite 1 99352

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