Dental fear or odontophobia is a common issue. It is a common condition that affects many people, and it can make even the simplest dental procedures seem intimidating. This fear prevents people from getting necessary dental treatments. If you have dental anxiety, here are a few tips to ease them.
Speak up about your fears
For some people, just talking about the fear they feel is enough to start feeling more comfortable in the dentist’s chair. Speaking out about your anxiety can be challenging, but doing so can help you and your dentist work together to identify ways to eliminate those fears or significantly reduce them.
For example, numbing creams can help numb the portion of your mouth that the dentist is working on. If injections are causing you stress, you can ask for an alternative method. During your consultation, bring a list of questions or concerns to discuss with your dentist and consider asking them about the different treatments they offer and how each one works. You can also ask if sedation options are available to help you feel more comfortable during your procedure.
Take a trusted person with you
In addition to speaking with your dentist about how to make your experience better, you should also have a talk with a friend or family member you trust about your fears and worries. Having someone there that you know and trust can be comforting, especially if you need them to support you by speaking on your behalf during the appointment if you start to feel too stressed to talk on your own. It can also be helpful to have someone nearby to help distract you from the procedure if it continues for too long or if it starts to feel painful.
Agree on a signal
If you are afraid of the dentist’s office or you are nervous about a procedure, let your dentist know ahead of time so they can help you feel more comfortable. Talk about a signal to use if you need to take a break or need a break during an appointment. Discuss the signal with your dentist beforehand, so you know exactly what to expect when you arrive at the office.
Bring a distraction
Some patients even find that bringing a distraction helps ease their anxiety. It’s common to bring a book or magazine to read, but you may also want to bring your smartphone or another device to take your mind off the situation entirely. If it seems like you’ll be waiting in the waiting room for a while, bring a snack to eat or drink during your appointment to keep you hydrated and calm.
Consider sedation dentistry
Sedation dentistry can help ease your dental fear. Talk to your dentist if you think you may be a candidate for sedation dentistry. Your dentist can prescribe an oral sedative to take before your appointment to help you relax. Oral sedatives take time to work, so you should plan to arrive at your dentist’s office at least an hour before your scheduled appointment time.
If you’re interested in learning more, schedule an appointment with Tanega Dental, located in South San Francisco, CA. We are equipped with the best dentists and the latest technologies. Call us at (650) 794-0203 and schedule an appointment with our family dentist.