What do spiders, flying, and dental visits have in common? They are all things that people commonly fear. But a trip to your dentist shouldn’t be a harrowing experience. These days, many dentists go out of their way to make their patients’ appointments as comfortable and pleasant as possible. If you’re having trepidation about your next trip to the dentist’s office, try some of the following tips to relieve your apprehension.
Speak with Your Dentist
The first measure you should always take is to simply speak with your dentist about your anxiety. Dentists understand that some patients don’t look forward to their visits, and they want to make your experience painless – both literally and figuratively. Your dentist may be able to offer you some form of sedation or other relaxing measures. Sometimes, just talking about your fear can help to lessen it.
For some patients with dental anxiety, it’s not the fear of pain that sets them off. Rather, it’s the noise from the dental instruments. For these people, some earphones and their favourite music can be the solution. You’ll be able to drown out the sound of the instruments and enjoy your own mix of tunes.
Be sure to pick music that’s upbeat or relaxing. Songs that you associate with a happy experience are a particularly good choice.
Try Breathing Exercises
This is a simple, discreet relaxation technique you can use in the waiting room. Inhale deeply through your nose, hold the breath in for two seconds, and then exhale slowly through your mouth. Deep breathing in this manner can help to calm you and steady your nerves.
Deconstruct Your Fear
Anxiety and panic can sometimes be controlled by rationalizing the situation. If you think about your fear, you’ll realize that there is no reason to be worried. Your dentist doesn’t want to harm you. In fact, your dentist has every incentive to make your experience as pleasant as possible. After all, they want to maintain their reputation as an excellent dental provider.
Panic can easily snowball until the threat seems much larger than it really is. By taking the time to analyse the situation, you’ll see that there is truly nothing to be afraid of.
Consult Your Family Physician
If you’re suffering from extreme anxiety surrounding a dental visit, it may be time to speak with your family doctor about the problem, especially if you often encounter panic or apprehension in other areas of your life. It’s possible you may have a panic disorder. If so, your primary care physician can help, or refer you to a professional who can provide treatment.
Remember – the single best step you can take to effectively address your dental anxiety is to speak with your dentist. They are there to help, and your dentist wants you to have an enjoyable experience whenever you’re at their office.
DISCLAIMER: The above article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice in any way. Consult with a licensed physician for any medical problems.