Experiencing anxiety when visiting the dentist is not an uncommon thing, but it can definitely cause you some difficulty! Getting regular cleanings and check ups is an important part of maintaining good oral health so when your anxiety prevents you from seeing your dentist regularly you may find yourself suffering from oral health issues.
There are some things you can do to make going to the dentist less of a negative experience. Choosing a dentist that you feel comfortable with is an important factor in creating a dentist visit experience that you can handle, but that’s not the only thing you can do!
You are not alone in your fear of the dentist, so many ideas are available for you to consider (which includes visiting dentists that believe your anxiety is real, and help you with it). Read on to see our suggestions on how to stay calm and to read about an idea you may not have considered yet!
You are not alone in your fear!
Though you may feel overwhelmed by the idea of visiting the dentist, it might be helpful to know that you are not alone in this feeling! According to Stats Canada nearly 40% of Canadians have some sort level of fear when it comes to going to the dentist. Chances are your dentist has a fair amount of experience in dealing with anxious and apprehensive patients.
Tips to help you stay calm at the dentist
Do you live in Oakville, Burlington, Milton or an area near our Bronte Road & Dundas office in Oakville? If so, our dentists are truly empathetic to your dental anxiety and can help make your experience very comfortable (including sedation for common procedures).
- Be open about your anxiety. If you’re scared, anxious or nervous let the staff and your dentist know. When they are aware of your concerns, they will be able to adjust their method to help you.
- Choose your appointment time wisely. If you enter your appointment knowing you’ll be in a rush to get out of there, you’ll naturally be more anxious from the beginning.
- Focus on your breathing. Taking slow and regular breaths will help you maintain a calmer mindset. When you are nervous or anxious you are more apt to hold your breath, which will only serve to increase your anxiety. Learning some meditative breathing techniques is a great way to focus on your breathing.
- Mind your diet before your appointment. Caffeine and sugar can make you more jittery and nervous, while certain foods can help calm you.
- Discuss a stop signal with your dentist. When the work becomes too much, you can signal them to stop so you can take a break and catch your breath.
- Bring some headphones to listen to music. This helps drown out the sounds of any work being done.
- Consider sedation. If you have severe anxiety surrounding your dentist visit, you might be suited to go under sedation to help make the experience more positive.
Choosing oral sedation
If your fear and anxiety is severe, you can choose to use sedation to make your visit to the dentist a more bearable- and sometimes even pleasant- experience. Using sedation can help you feel more relaxed during your visit and procedure and helps your dentist to perform any work needed without having to put an anxious or fearful patient under too much stress.
There are a few different kinds of sedation to choose from, and your best option is to discuss with your dentist which one would be best for you.
Time to manage your anxiety and visit the dentist
No matter where your anxiety about visiting the dentist comes from, it’s important to confront the issue head on. Ignoring your oral health can lead to some serious concerns down the road so you want to do what you can to manage your fear before it gets to severe. As you can see, there are several things you can do to help reduce your anxiety, but if those methods don’t work sedation is a great option for your visit!