How to Overcome Your Dentist Anxiety

orthodontic treatment

Suffering from dentist anxiety is as common as the importance of oral care. Dentophobia (or odontophobia) is an extreme fear of visiting a dentist caused by several reasons. The fear of getting hurt, the ensuing pain, bad prior experience, or simply feeling queasy at the smell of the dental clinic are some of them. Dentophobia can eventually lead to serious health issues. Here are some simple steps to help you overcome dental anxiety:

Share your fears 

Inform the clinic about your fears when you schedule your appointment. Talk to your dentist about what exactly scares you and share any unpleasant prior experiences. Ask questions about the treatment procedure to be aware of what you are about to go through. If the fear of getting hurt is playing on your mind, then mention that too. You can even use hand signals to let your dentist know in case of any discomfort during the procedure.    

Distract yourself 

Many people avoid dental check-ups because the sound of the drill inside their mouths freaks them. To avoid paying attention to these things, put on your headphones and turn on some soothing music. You can even listen to audiobooks if that helps you take your mind off the drilling sound. Squeezing a stress ball is another easy technique to distract yourself. 

Try relaxation techniques

Mindfulness techniques like deep breathing exercises help to a large extent. Slowly inhale and exhale while counting your breaths. If you practice yoga, then you can try some simple muscle relaxation exercises along with deep breathing. These will help you cope with any discomfort and calm your nerves.

Choose a less busy time for the appointment

Schedule your appointment at a time when the dental clinic is less likely to be crowded. The pressure of dealing with a rush-hour business at the clinic could add to your anxiety. A relatively less busy time at the clinic would help you open up and relax.

Choose a dentist with good reviews 

Conduct proper research about the dentist and the clinic you plan to visit. Look for one that has good ratings and scores high on relationships with patients. You can even check with your family and friends for recommendations of a tried and tested dentist with great positive reviews. 

Regular dental check-ups are necessary for clean and healthy teeth. It helps rule out tooth decay, gum diseases, oral cancers, or other severe health issues. To prevent serious damage to your oral health, try some of the above strategies and smile through your appointment.

References:

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/dental-anxiety-and-phobia