Dental anxiety or phobia is a fear of dental work that results in a patient avoiding dental care entirely. This typically results in increased dental disease, dental emergencies, and tooth loss. If you have dental anxiety, you may benefit from the following tips.
Speak up about your dental fears
If you experience anxiety or fear at the thought of visiting the dentist, don’t hesitate to let your dental care team know! They want you to feel comfortable and safe during their care. No need to feel embarrassed about your feelings; instead, they want you to be at ease so they can provide the best possible care for you.
Agree on a signal
If your dentist knows that you are anxious or nervous, they can work with you to develop signals that will let him or her know you need a break before the appointment ends. These may be as simple as raising your hand to signal that you need a moment to collect yourself, or you might need a hand signal to let the dentist know that you are feeling uncomfortable. Over time, these signals will help both you and your dentist relax and have a comfortable experience during appointments.
Bring a friend
Bringing someone, you trust with you can help calm your nerves or distract you from the procedure altogether. Bringing a trusted friend or family member can also be helpful as they can keep you company during your appointment and offer comforting support. You can have them sit with you in the waiting room or even hold your hand during a procedure if you feel that will help calm you.
Bring a distraction
Some patients bring a book or music player to help pass the time during a procedure. If you don’t like the feel of the dentist’s chair, take a pillow from home and wrap it around your shoulders to feel more comfortable.
Ask for sedation
If your fear of the dentist is interfering with your dental health, consider being put under conscious oral sedation. This level of sedation can be administered at the dentist’s office and will allow you to be completely relaxed during your procedure. If you think you may need this level of sedation or are curious about it, be sure to bring it up to your dental practice during the consultation process.
You can also ask for a numbing gel to be applied to your gums at the start of your appointment. There are also topical anesthetics that can be applied to the gums prior to treatment that can provide a numb sensation that lasts for many hours.
To learn more, visit Wedgewood Dental offices at 713 Salem Avenue Suite A, Rolla MO 65401 or 1116 S. Main Street, Salem MO 65560. You can also reach us at (573)368-7325 or (573)729-7701.
713 Salem Avenue Suite A, Rolla MO 65401
MON 7:30 am - 3:30 pm
WED - THU 7:30 am - 3:30 pm
FRI - SUN Closed