Many dental patients suffer from anxiety, and this can make dental procedures a truly horrible experience. Below are four of the best ways to decrease your anxiety before, and during, any dental procedure.
Build a healthy relationship with your dentist
You will likely be more relaxed and easygoing if you have built up a comfortable rapport and relationship of trust with your dentist. One of the easiest ways to build this trust is to go in early and discuss your concerns. Most dentists will be happy to accommodate you, and if they aren’t you will probably be best served finding someone else to perform your dental work. Some may even be willing to perform some low stress activities, such as an examination of your teeth, in order to build your confidence.
Retain control of all procedures
Although dentists are professionals, this doesn’t give them the right to arbitrarily dictate how any procedure will be conducted. If the way they are doing their business is making you uncomfortable in any way, you have the right to ask them to stop or change how they are handling the situation. After all, you are in charge of your own body, not them. To decrease the likelihood of procedures turning confrontational, discuss how you will both handle things before the dental work begins.
Distract yourself during procedures
The mind has powerful control over the body, and you can actually decrease the amount of pain you are experiencing by focusing your attention. This is the basic principle behind distracting a child as you tear off a bandage. Some effective methods for mentally controlling pain include: focusing on an area of your body that isn’t feeling pain, visualizing the pain as not being part of your body, or putting all your focus on your breathing.
Find a helpful dentist
As with all professional practices, there are good dentists as well as bad. You owe it to yourself to find one that not only helps you as a patient, but supports you as a human being. One of the easiest ways to find the perfect dentist, is to you have an in-depth conversation with them before any procedure begins. You can then judge how much they actually care about your well-being before, during, and after dental work. Knowing that you have a supportive dentist who has your best interest at heart will help eliminate the fear that your dentist will intentionally, or unintentionally, harm you while conducting dental work.
Lyndsi Decker is a freelance writer and is currently promoting http://www.richardfossumdds.com and Dentrix. She is also a blogger and a mother of two and enjoys photography.