Does the mere thought of visiting your dentist make you feel nervous or anxious? Hopefully, reading this article will show you how to get over dental anxiety or fear thus allowing you to receive the treatment you need.
Firstly, it’s worth pointing out that you’re not alone in experiencing dental anxiety. Many people are anxious about visiting the dentist even when they’ve only ever had positive experiences. This is because anxiety is mostly the fear of a future event and worry that something might happen.
The most common dental fears and anxieties are based around:
- The drill
- Embarrassment about bad teeth and
With this in mind, we’re going to talk about How to Get Over Dental Anxiety using 5 simple tips to. Let’s take a closer look.
Choosing a dentist
Before you can even attempt to get over dental anxiety it’s vital to choose the right dentist. Try to find a dentist who not only listens to your fears but acknowledges them. If they show little empathy when you’re speaking to them there’s a chance that they won’t during dental procedures either.
Once you have a dentist in mind, try booking an initial consultation for a check-up to see how things go. Be sure that you feel comfortable with them before booking any treatment, otherwise try a different dentist.
Fear of needles
If you have a fear of needles then mention this to your dentist before your appointment. Most dentists are used to this type of dental anxiety and have ways that they can help. Effective numbing gels can be used before administering an injection so you won’t feel a thing. These have helped hundreds of patients get the treatment they need and overcome their anxiety surrounding injections.
Fear of the drill
Many dental procedures require the use of a dental drill, and unfortunately, this is one of the most common causes of dental anxiety. The good thing is that modern dental drills are designed to be much quieter than their predecessors. Patients are also given a local anaesthetic before undergoing treatment so that they don’t experience any pain. That said, they may be aware of some light pressure and vibration.
If hearing the drill is a problem, then why not pop in your earphones and listen to your favourite music. This can serve as a distraction or may even calm you, depending on the type of music you choose.
IV sedation dentistry is another option provided by many dentists which places a patient in a state of relaxation so that often they have little recollection of what took place. Anyone undergoing IV sedation dentistry will need to bring a friend to accompany them home since they may feel a little groggy depending on how long they were sedated for.
Fear of embarrassment about bad teeth
Dentists deal with decayed and damaged teeth everyday – it’s what they do. They’ve probably seen people with far worse teeth than yours. While it’s their job to help prevent dental problems, it’s also their job to deal with damaged teeth and work with patients to achieve a healthy smile.
To make it easier, you can always mention that you are embarrassed by your teeth when you make your appointment and that you’d like their help to fix them. Not only is this an ice-breaker but it helps your dentist know you have anxieties surrounding your teeth. You may find that you feel more relaxed by knowing that your dentist is fully aware of your dental anxiety.
Fear of Pain
If you’ve experienced pain during past dental procedures, then it’s only natural to fear that it may be repeated.
The good news is that numbing gels, anaesthetics and the latest gentle dental techniques are all common place in modern dentistry so you can rest assured that it shouldn’t be a repeat of the painful experience that you had before. In fact, chances are that you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Here at Randwick Smiles, we find that many nervous or anxious patients benefit from breathing in nitrous oxide, otherwise known as happy gas. It makes a person feel carefree and is designed to suppress senses like hearing, touch, and most importantly, pain. Unlike IV sedation dentistry, nausea or other side effects rarely occur and a patient typically feels back to normal within minutes of their treatment being completed.
Also, when a person is fearful, it makes them tense up and this, in turn, may make them more sensitive to pain. This can be helped by:
- Learning ways to relax
- Deep breathing techniques and,
- With an understanding dentist that you feel comfortable with
No more dental anxiety
Hopefully, these simple tips will help you learn how to get over dental anxiety, but the key thing is to communicate with your dentist and tell them how you feel. Here at Randwick Smiles, we welcome anxious or fearful dental patients and do all we can to make them feel as relaxed as possible.
We run a modern family dental practice with all the technology needed to make your experience a pleasant one. So why not book today or call us at (02) 8188 4625.