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If you’re afraid to visit the dentist, you’re not alone. Studies show that dental phobia affects up to 24% of people around the world. For some, dental anxiety is a minor nuisance, but for others it can be disabling and prevent them from visiting a dentist regularly. While fear of the dentist is common, there are some things you can do to help overcome your fear and to ensure that you maintain good oral health with consistent dental visits.
Bring a headset
Bring your mp3 player with your favorite music, audiobooks or podcasts so you can listen while you’re in the waiting room and maintain a sense of calm and relaxation. It’s important to be on time to your appointment, but don’t arrive too early, as the longer you sit, the more likely it is that you’ll start to feel anxious about the visit. While listening to your mp3 player, practice relaxation breathing techniques and think about activities you enjoy.
One of the most powerful tools to fight anxiety is knowledge, so communicate with your dentist about what he or she will be doing during the visit. The more you know about what’s going to happen, the better prepared for it you’ll be and the less nervous you’ll feel. Ask about having a familiar, pleasing scent in the treatment room, such as an aromatherapy device. If there’s a particular radio station you like and the dentist has music in their rooms, ask for that station so you can listen to something familiar.
Many dental offices have televisions in their treatment rooms now, which makes it easier to take your mind somewhere else during cleaning and treatments. Find a channel you like with a program that will last through the visit and you’ll find the appointment more enjoyable. If your dental office doesn’t have televisions in the rooms, they usually make an effort to hang images of pleasing scenery on the ceiling or within visual range of the chair.
If all of the above suggestions aren’t enough to relax you during your dental treatment, consult with your dentist about sedation dentistry options. There are a variety of sedation levels depending on your particular level of anxiety and they’re a safe, effective way to alleviate your fears and ensure that you receive the best oral care possible.
We want you to feel comfortable, relaxed, and anxiety-free during your visits. Contact us today to discover how we can make your next appointment a rewarding experience.Schedule a Free Consultation