Dental fear is a common thing, and many people experience it at some point in their lives. The fear of dental pain, embarrassment, or loss of control could be a reason to feel anxious at the dentist’s office. If you are someone with dental fear, these tips may help.
Speak up about your fears
Many people avoid dental treatment due to fear or anxiety. You don’t have to deal with your challenges alone. Your dentist wants to help you overcome your fears and receive the care you need. Let him or her know how much of a problem it is for you, and work together to come up with solutions.
Agree on a signal
Agreeing upon a signal for the dentist that you need him to stop is important. You can raise your hand if you need a break or need help. Some dental offices even provide a buzzer that a patient can hit if they need the procedure to stop during treatment. It is important to agree on such signals ahead of time so that there are no surprises or misunderstandings during your appointment.
Bring a distraction
Many patients find that they experience less pain when they’re distracted, so bring something to keep yourself occupied while you’re in the waiting room or chair. Some find it helpful to bring their phone, tablet, or laptop so they can listen to music or play games to pass the time. Others bring a magazine to read or watch TV. Some people even use noise-canceling headphones to cancel out the sound of drills and other sounds. This can be really helpful if you are feeling anxious. If you’re apprehensive about being left alone with your mouth open during long dental procedures, bringing a friend along can be comforting. They can sit beside you and provide encouragement or hold your hand as you’re receiving treatment.
Consider sedation dentistry
If you suffer from severe anxiety or dental fear, consider asking your dentist about sedation dentistry. He or she may prescribe an oral medication that can help you relax during the procedure. You may also be able to receive nitrous oxide treatment through a mask worn over the nose that allows you to breathe in the sedative gas. Sedation dentistry is a great way to ease your anxiety and allow you to get the dental care you need!
To learn more about maintaining good oral health, contact El Paseo Dental Clinic at (408) 370-0101 or (510) 750-1654. You can also visit our dental offices located in San Jose and Hayward in California for your dental concerns.