Easing Dental Anxiety: Coping Methods that Can Help

Easing Dental Anxiety: Coping Methods that Can Help

Dental phobia is one of the most common fears among children and adults. Dental phobia or fear of dentists is common, and it can range from mild uneasiness to severe anxiety. Listed below are some tips to ease dental fear.

Discuss your dental phobia with your dentist

If you feel anxious about visiting a dentist or you feel the anxiety rising as your appointment approaches, discuss this with your provider beforehand so that they can help you feel more at ease. They can work with you to help you relax during your visit and manage your anxieties in a more effective manner. This will help not only make you feel less anxious but also help to prevent painful experiences from developing in the future as well. The dentist may direct you to try some relaxation techniques at home so that you can better manage any discomfort that you feel during your appointments. You can also discuss the use of nitrous oxide or other sedative options to help calm you during your procedure.

At my dental office, we value patient experience and comfort as one of our top priorities. We want to make sure that each patient that visits us has a positive experience and leaves our office with a smile on their face. If fear of your appointment is keeping you from getting the treatment you need, please don't hesitate to talk with us about your situation. We're here to help!

Agree on a signal

When you and your dentist have agreed on what is to be done during the treatment procedure, ask your dentist to agree upon a signal you can use to communicate that you need a break or to stop the process. This signal can be raising your hand, nodding your head, or even saying the word "stop." Make sure you choose something that is easy for you to remember to do. 

Take a friend or family member with you for emotional support

Having someone to accompany you to your dentist appointment can help you ease your fear. The person can distract you and also help communicate with the dentist on your behalf if you are not able to express your concerns. They can also help calm you down before a procedure by telling you what to expect during the procedure and what measures to take to relieve discomfort afterward. Having someone by your side can make the experience more bearable, and it can help you stay calm as well. Just be sure that whoever you bring is also calm so they won't contribute to heightening your anxiety levels. Wear comfortable clothes and bring cozy socks and slippers. You won't feel as anxious if you're wearing something that makes you feel relaxed. You can even wear your favorite jersey or pajamas if you want! 

Bring distractions to occupy your mind during procedures

Some patients forget to think about planning their appointment ahead of time. They typically get panicked when the procedure starts because they don't have any entertainment or distraction. If this is your concern, bring something to keep you occupied while you're in the chair. You can bring a book or magazine to read or even your phone to play games on it. You can also bring headphones so you can listen to music. Just make sure that whatever you use will not distract your dentist. Ask him or her if it's okay first.

To find out more about the dental services we offer at DTLA Smile, Los Angeles, CA, call (213) 688-2828 or schedule an online consultation. You can also visit Dentist Los Angeles, CA, at 104 West 7th St, #2 Los Angeles, CA, 90014.

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