Dental phobia has a much bigger impact than you may think. Many people who have a phobia of the dentist avoid going for regular cleanings or dental work, which can lead to severe oral health problems. This tends to exacerbate their fear, because the more extensive required work tends to be far less comfortable than regular dental cleanings. This leads to even more dental phobia, more avoiding of the dentist, and more dental problems. Conquering your dental phobia goes a long way toward protecting the health of your teeth.
What is Dental Phobia?
Dental phobia is a result of extreme fear in response to visits to the dentist. It is crucial to ensure that you recognize the signs of dental phobia in order to take the steps to overcome it. This aids in ensuring that you are able to keep your smile as healthy as possible.
Learn About the Procedure
Understanding what to expect from your dental visit can go a long way toward reducing your anxiety. It can be especially beneficial to do your research and learn about the specific process for your visit. If you are still concerned, you may wish to consult with your dentist and ask them to explain the dental process in order to help you handle your dental phobia.
Talk to your Dentist or the Staff
It is important to ensure that you confide about your fears with your dentist. When you alert them to your dental phobia, they will be able to make necessary arrangements to aid you throughout your dental visit. They will also help to provide you with the appropriate advice to make your dental visit far easier. It is likely that they are experienced in dealing with patients that experience severe amounts of dental phobia.
Identify your Dental-Related Fears
It is important to identify what the cause of your dental-related fears is. If you have always been afraid of the dentist, without necessarily having any negative experiences, it is possible that you are fearful of not understanding how dental processes work. Other kinds of dental phobia may be caused by past negative, and often painful, experiences with the dentist. When you figure out what is causing the fear, you will be better equipped to manage it.
Avoid Caffeine Before your Appointment
When you have caffeine close to your appointment, it often causes an accelerated heartbeat. This reaction tends to cause you to experience higher levels of anxiety. When you take caffeine prior to your dental appointment, it is likely that you will be more anxious than if you refrain from taking caffeine.
Various distractions can help to prevent you from feeling anxious at various points throughout your dental visit. You may want to bring headphones in order to listen to music or an audiobook. These methods of distracting yourself can make the process feel much easier. Many dentists have TVs in their office to help provide this distraction.
Bring Emotional Support
It can be incredibly helpful to bring a companion along to your dental visit. Ensure that you choose someone that you are close to that isn’t afraid of the dentist. Bringing along someone else with dental anxiety can simply cause your own anxiety to escalate. Bring someone that will remain calm and be able to ease your own anxiety. Most tasks feel far easier when you don’t have to complete them on your own.
Ask About Medications
Many dentists offer various services to help control your dental phobia. Call your dentist prior to your dental visit and ask them about their strategies for handling dental anxiety. They will be able to inform you of your options when it comes to sedation methods and anxiety medications. These services can go a long way toward allowing you to control your high emotional state throughout the process.
Find the Right Dentist
It is important to ensure that you obtain the services from the right dentist to meet your needs. Ensure that you find a dentist that helps to put you at ease and makes you feel comfortable. If you are unable to relax around your dentist, it will be far more difficult to relax when experiencing something that makes you anxious. The right dentist will have a huge impact on your overall experience.
Practice Stress-Relief Techniques
There are many techniques that can be implemented to relieve stress and control anxiety. For example, you may want to practice meditation on a regular basis, so that you can incorporate those practices during your dental visit. Breathing techniques are another great way to help control your anxiety during the dental procedure. It is important to ensure that you practice these techniques prior to your appointment, so that you are able to implement them effectively when the time comes.
Use Hand Signals
Develop a system to inform your dentist when you are anxious or need a break. This will allow you to feel far more in control over the entire process. The inability to communicate can cause you to feel overwhelmed and increase your anxiety. Hand signals can help ensure that you are able to communicate effectively with your dentist throughout the visit.
Take Pristine Care of your Teeth
It is important to take thorough care of your teeth to prevent large oral health issues from developing. For example, if you have to have a root canal treatment, it is less likely to be comfortable than a dental cleaning. This often causes an escalation to your anxiety. However, when you keep your teeth in superior health, you likely won’t require services beyond professional cleanings. Using fluoride infused products can help to strengthen the teeth. A great oral hygiene routine and cutting back on the sugar you consume can greatly improve the health of your teeth.
Our expert team at Hendersonville Family Dental is dedicated to providing you with the best possible dental experience. Consult with our office to obtain superior information and guidance regarding how to control your dental-related anxiety. We will do everything in our power to ensure that you are comfortable as possible throughout your process. Contact our office to learn more!