Many people are surprised to hear that dental anxiety is one of the most common phobias in the world, and around 10 percent of the population avoids dental visits because of those fears. Unfortunately, people who avoid the dentist suffer from much higher rates of periodontal disease, tooth decay, fractures, and many other serious oral health problems. Here are five tips that you can use to overcome your fears and get through your next dental appointment.
Speak With Your Dentist
Well before you have any treatments or services carried out, you might want to schedule an appointment with the dentist just to speak with them. Most dentists completely understand these concerns, and simply speaking with one of them could help you manage your emotions. Your dentist might also offer alternative services to those who have anxiety such as IV sedation.
There are now many different types of sedation, and some of them are specifically for those who are nervous about dental treatments. IV sedation completely puts the patient to sleep, but that isn’t necessary in most cases. Oral sedatives are much less invasive, and they will reduce your anxiety and allow you to relax during your appointment.
Many different methods can be used to calm yourself, and you should try a few different techniques to see what works for you. Controlled breathing is a very common option, and it could put you at ease before and during your appointment. Other patients benefit from meditation or guided visualization exercises where they confront their emotions.
Anything that you can do to distract yourself during the procedure will be beneficial. During your initial consultation with your dentist, you should ask them about what distractions they allow in their office. Headphones, movies on your smartphone, and books are all excellent options for most patients.
Bring a Family Member or Loved One
Support from a loved one could be just what you need to finally make it through your next dental appointment. A family member or close friend will help distract you and improve your overall mood. Depending on your dentist, you might even be able to have your loved one in the room with you during the appointment.
Dental anxiety is a very common problem, and it could result in serious oral health complications if you don’t take care of it right away. Hopefully, these five tips will allow you to overcome your fears so that you can get the assistance you deserve at a place like Oral Surgery Associates Inc. If you are struggling with a severe phobia, then should consider speaking with a therapist who can help you come up with additional coping techniques.