If you get anxious or nervous just thinking about setting a dental appointment, you are not alone. Many people experience moderate to severe anxiety over visiting a dentist. Some people have an actual phobia of dentists called dentophobia. While dental anxiety and dental phobia are quite different, they both can make people avoid the dentist even when they have pain or issues. They keep people from maintaining regular checkups and cleanings, which can increase their risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease. Your dentist wants to make you feel as comfortable as possible during your visit. Here are a list of tips that may help to ease your dental anxiety:
Talk Through The Nerves
Your anxiety can come from a variety of sources. Pinpointing the reason for your fear may help you work through it, especially if you let your dentist and their team know. Perhaps in the past, you have had a particularly bad experience at the dentist. Maybe the pain itself worries you. Some people get anxious at the thought of not having control of the situation. Many people feel embarrassed about how long it has been since their last visit. All of these worries are normal, and your dental team can help you feel more at ease when they know what is troubling you.
Distract Your Mind
Instead of focusing on the anxiety, it may work to focus on what you are listening to in your headphones. Focusing on a calming massage chair may ease your nerves. Even something like a fidget spinner or stress ball can keep your mind distracted.
If you are overcome with nerves and anxiety, your dentist can offer sedative options. Depending on your needs, different levels of sedation may work for you. In severe cases, IV sedation may be offered to put you into a complete state of relaxation. IV sedation is administered by a registered anesthesiologist.
Dental anxiety can be overcome
Don’t let dental anxiety keep you from the care you need. To schedule a consultation by calling Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry of Kansas City, MO, today at 816-897-4288.