People rarely look forward to the dentist, even with the modern movement towards gentle family dentistry. Many have bad childhood memories of dental procedures that were not as advanced as they are now. Today, however, you can go to the dentist and leave your worries at home. Procedures are much more comfortable, and good dentists go to great lengths to ensure that their patients have a pleasant experience.
However, if you feel yourself getting anxious before an appointment, whether it’s for a routine dental cleaning or something more complex like dental implants, there are some things you can do to help yourself relax. Try some of these techniques:
- Bring your favorite music and plug in while you’re in the chair. You don’t need to have a conversation with the dentist during the procedure. Instead, you can listen to music or your favorite podcast.
- Many dentists now have TVs for patients to watch during procedures. Request your favorite channel. Home or cooking shows are great distractions!
- Bring a friend or family member with you. If you are worried, a family member or friend can take some of the pressure away. Even if they are sitting in the waiting room, you may feel better just knowing they’re there. They can drive you if you are really nervous.
- Talk to your dentist about your worries. You can come up with a signal, like raising your hand if you need a little break during the procedure. He may be able to adapt some things to make the procedure less stressful.
- Practice deep breathing. It may sound silly if you’re not used to it, but yoga breathing truly can relax the body. You can practice beforehand and even on the way to the appointment. Here is a good overview of box breathing, which is an easy and eective technique to learn.
- If your anxiety is very bad, don’t be afraid to medicate. You can ask your dentist or your general practitioner for some medication to take that will help with your anxiety. Your dentist may also give you nitrous oxide before your procedure begins. This is a safe sedative that can make you more comfortable during your procedure.
Dental anxiety is not uncommon. Whether it’s from past experience or just a general thing, you don’t have to continue feeling anxious about the dentist. Our sta at Watkin Dental Associates take pride in making our patients feel at ease and relaxed. We are happy to speak with you about how we can make your dentist visits more comfortable. Please contact us with any questions and to learn how we can help you.