Dental anxiety is a common phobia that can negatively affect the oral health of many patients. It can result in the patient avoiding dental appointments and treatments until they are in severe pain or have no other options.
It is possible to overcome dental anxiety, but it takes a lot of time and work. The best thing that you can do for yourself is to talk to your dentist about the concerns you have. They may have techniques that will help ease your fears and make the experience more comfortable.
The Origin of Your Fears
There are several reasons that people become anxious about their dental Dentist Marangaroo visits. For some, it has to do with a previous painful experience or a traumatic interaction with the dentist or dental staff. Others may be afraid of needles, blood or numbness. Some even fear choking or being unable to breathe during procedures like tooth extractions or root canals.
Usually, dental anxiety begins in childhood. Parents and/or grandparents who had a negative experience with the dentist can reinforce the idea that the dental office is unpleasant and dangerous for children. Those negative experiences can be triggered by seeing their loved ones in pain or hearing them speak of bad dental care.
Avoiding the dentist altogether is not a healthy habit, but it is sometimes the only option. This can lead to the development of a vicious cycle that negatively impacts not only the patients’ oral health, but their self-esteem and social confidence as well.
The most effective coping strategy is to discuss your concerns with your dentist before and during your appointment. They can give you tips on how to deal with your specific anxieties and help you find a treatment that works for you.
Control Your Fears
When you are feeling nervous or anxious, try to calm yourself by taking deep, slow breaths and visualizing a place that makes you feel comfortable. You can also think about happy or pleasant memories from the past to relax you.
You can also ask your dentist to explain any procedure that you’re worried about in detail, so that you know what to expect. They can also offer strategies for coping with your anxiety such as distractions, relaxation exercises and medication.
One of the most effective ways to calm yourself before a dental appointment is to take slow, measured breaths. Start by inhaling through your nose and hold the breath for a few seconds, then exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat this until you feel comfortable.
Imagining a peaceful, calm place can also help reduce your dental anxiety. You can practice this before your appointment by focusing on a comfortable, pleasant setting in your head. You can also ask your dentist to play calming music or show you a video that will help put you at ease during the procedure.
Other calming tactics include distracting yourself by watching TV or playing a game before your appointment, bringing a stress relief ball that you can squeeze during your procedure and putting on some music to listen to.