Suffering from a fear of the dentist isn’t uncommon. However, there’s a difference between a bit of anxiety and full-blown debilitating fear. If your fear is preventing you from attending your regular appointments, here are a few ways that you can minimize your anxiety:
Be honest with your dentist
As already mentioned, fear is common, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, speaking to dentists in Plantation beforehand is perhaps the most important step, advises West Side Dental Center – you’ll want to find one who is understanding and sympathetic. If your dentist seems dismissive and condescending towards your concerns, you’ll want to ditch that practice right away!
Ask about sedation
Of course, there’s Novocain, but that doesn’t help you relax. Many offices offer laughing gas or conscious sedation during procedures to help them breeze right by.
Ask about medication
Your dentist may be able to prescribe you a drug like Valium that you can take before your visit or procedure, or administer a similar sort of drug in the office with your informed consent.
Practice relaxation techniques
Practice even, calm breathing through your nose, as well as how to keep your breath steady. Breathing rapidly or holding your breath during your visit will only serve to make you feel more on edge and uncomfortable.
Communicate about your discomfort.
Let your dentist know exactly what it is that’s bothering you or what you are concerned about. For example, if having your mouth propped open by a bite block makes you anxious and uncomfortable, tell your dentist that you’d rather keep your mouth open on your own. Don’t stay silent about little things that add to your anxiety.
Have the dentist explain what they are doing
Tell the dentist that you would like them to explain every step as they do it, so that there is no mystery. Letting your imagination run away with you when it comes to what’s going on in your mouth can only make you feel worse.
Have a distraction
Bring headphones and your favorite music to listen to. Or, watch your favorite show! Many dentists’ offices nowadays have televisions in the exam room, with services like Netflix installed so that you can choose a show to watch during your visit.
Hopefully, some of these tips will help you work towards overcoming your fear. Remember, putting off preventive visits might cause you more trouble in the long run – so it’s worth it to be brave.
West Side Dental Center offers a variety of dental services. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!