7 Simple Tricks to Deal with Dental Anxiety

Dental related anxiety effects about 15 percent of people. But why do so many fear the dentist?  People become anxious about oral care and dental procedures for a variety of reasons. Some may have had a bad dental treatment experience in the past. Others anticipate pain and unease from the sounds and vibration from the drill. Many dislike the feeling of being helpless or out of control while being treated, especially while under sedation.  Some are embarrassed about the state of their oral health. Others worry about the potential cost of treatment.  Many are bothered by the smells and sounds of a dental care office. Some have a big fear of the needles and the potential pain that comes with dental injections. For others, taking time out of a busy day for oral care can cause stress, too.

No matter what the cause, dental anxiety is a real problem. Dental anxiety leads to folks delaying or skipping oral care.  And that leads to several dental health problems which can require extensive and sometimes expensive dental treatment.

So what can you do to cope with looming dental anxiety? There are a few tips and tricks to make you feel more calm and reassured:

Find a dentist you can trust
It is important to find a dentist that you are comfortable with.  The dentist should not only offer the latest treatment methods for all dental issues, they should also be able to confidently handle patient anxiety and patient concerns.  Many oral health care providers use a variety of tools and comfort measures to ensure that patients have a pain-free and anxiety-free visit, whether they come in for a routine cleaning or a more complicated treatment procedure.

Communicate with your oral health care team
After you find a dentist that you like and trust, it’s important to communicate your anxieties and concerns to your dentist and the oral care team at your dentist’s office.  The team cannot help you if they don’t know and understand what your concerns are.  If you are worried about pain, there are tools available to help keep you pain-free.  If cost is a worry, you can discuss this with the financial team in the office.  If office sights and smells are a problem, there are measures that can be taken to ensure your comfort.

Conquer the unknown
Worried about expenses? Fearing what the treatment might be for that mystery tooth pain? Not sure how your dentist handles dental injections? It is very important to ask a lot of questions and gather as much information as possible. Being fully informed about costs, treatment procedures, comfort measures and pain control can go a long way toward easing dental fears and anxieties.

Tackle known fears head on
Instead of hiding dental treatment fears from your oral health care provider or others, admit them. Owning up to your fears is the first step in conquering them. And you may find that you have some unknown or un-named anxieties, as well.  As your discover these, your dentist will work with you each step of the way to provide comfort and compassionate care.

Use one or more coping tools to help ease anxiety
You may find that using some simple coping mechanisms at the dentist’s office may help ease your mind and help you manage your dental treatment experience.  Ask your dentist if you can bring some earbuds and your favorite tunes, a stress ball or another small item to hold during your treatment. Such comfort measures can go a long way toward helping you relax during routine cleanings or more complicated treatments.

Practice meditation and other relaxation techniques
Part of controlling dental anxiety is quieting your mind and gaining control of panic-filled thoughts and fears.  Deep breathing, meditation and other controlled relaxation techniques can help you find peace before, during and after dental cleanings and procedures.  Talk to your dentist about how to incorporate this into your treatment visit.

Take advantage of new technologies
Dentists are currently finding new processes, tools and treatment options that will deliver a pain-free and anxiety-free dental experience for patients. 

Today, many dentists and oral surgeons are offering the latest technologies and advanced methods to ensure patients the most pain-free and anxiety-free oral care experience possible. You can even suggest new technologies – like the DentalVibe tool which eliminates dental injection discomfort – to your favorite dentist if they don’t already have them in place. It is important to utilize a dental health care provider whose treatment philosophy will ensure patient comfort and thorough care. Going to the dentist doesn’t have to be “like pulling teeth”. 

To learn more about painless dental procedures, visit dentalvibe.com

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