How to Cope With Dental Anxiety

Being afraid of the dentist is one of the most common fears around. There are millions of Americans who don’t have their teeth checked because of stress and anxiety related to dentists and dental care. From the sound of the drill to the fear of pain or blood, people have many reasons to avoid the dentist.

Unfortunately, ignoring dental care for too long can create serious consequences for your oral health which can require much more invasive procedures to fix. If you have stress or anxiety regarding the dentist, there are coping strategies and tips you can follow to help reduce those negative feelings and get you through a dental appointment safely, quickly and happily.

The Cycle of Anxiety

Everyone knows that going to the dentist isn’t the most fun activity in the world. However, there are many people who struggle with it much more than others. These people have serious fears and anxieties about dental visits and experience significant stress before, during and after the appointments.

Many times, the anxiety before the visits contributes to an even worse visit during because the patient’s breathing is shallow and they are constantly worried about what could happen. These anxieties then lead to other fears and stresses leading some people to just avoid the dentist entirely, even if their oral health is in decline.

Tips to Manage and Reduce Dental Anxiety

Reducing your anxiety with the dentist starts with clear communication and a setting of expectations. Gone are the days of the scary dentist who doesn’t tell you what’s going to happen or isn’t listening to the patient. As the healthcare industry has become more service focused, modern dental offices are just as concerned with the experience as they are with the dentistry.

This means that at offices like Wooten Dentistry, you and your dental care team can have clear and open communication about what’s going to happen, what you can expect to feel and how the appointment might go. This communication goes a long way towards making people with anxieties feel better because they are more prepared for what’s about to happen.

Additionally, there are several techniques which can help you relax before and during the appointment:

  • Speak Your Mind: Asking questions during the appointment and sharing your fears can help you and your care team get past them. They can be more or less communicative in guiding you through your appointment. Some people want to know exactly what’s happening and others don’t.
  • Focus on breathing and your pulse: People hold their breath when they’re anxious and the lack of oxygen creates even more anxiety. Make sure to continue to take deep breaths. This can also be something else to focus on, rather than the sound of a drill or something else that is anxiety-provoking.
  • Listen to music: Listening to music can tune out the drill sound and reduce a lot of the anxiety around the dental visit.
  • Use hand signals: Being able to communicate with your dentist even when your mouth is occupied can help you feel better about what’s happening. Being able to thumbs up or down or use other signals can maintain the communication between you and your dentist and keep everyone informed.
  • Choose a low stress time: Taking early morning or weekend appointments can reduce your stress around the amount of time a visit can take. This way, if you need more time to get comfortable you aren’t missing out on anything else you may have to do.
  • Choose a low stress time: Taking early morning or weekend appointments can reduce your stress around the amount of time a visit can take. This way, if you need more time to get comfortable you aren’t missing out on anything else you may have to do.

How Can Wooten Dentistry Help My Dental Anxiety?

At Wooten Dentistry, we take the fears and anxieties surrounding dental visits seriously. We are committed to your comfort and creating the best experience possible. We are proud to offer Halcion, a medication that helps combat anxiety before, during and shortly after your dental visit.

A fear of the dentist is a very common thing that affects a lot of people. Dentists are more and more aware of this and are trained to help you get through without hurting or traumatizing patients further. This is important because ignoring dental health can have grave consequences for your overall health and quality of life. If you need to get your teeth checked out and have stress and anxiety around the dentist’s office, contact us today at Wooten Dentistry.

Our expertly trained dentists and care team can help you overcome these challenges and get you on your way to tip top oral health while helping you overcome your fears.