Dental anxiety is a very real problem, and we’ve previously covered reasons as to why some individuals may have a fear of the dentist right here on our blog.
Whatever reason you may have to fear visiting your dental appointment, there are things that can be done to help alleviate the discomfort and nervousness that you may be feeling.
Our dentists in Lancaster are no strangers to working with patients to alleviate their dental anxiety and you can bet that you aren’t the first one to walk into their surgery feeling anxious on that day!
Here’s how we can help you overcome your dental anxiety in order to help keep your mouth – and you – happy and healthy during your check up.
Talk To Us
The first thing that we’d advise is to tell us how you are feeling. We’ll generally ask you how you are before we ask you to sit down in the chair, so make this your opportunity to tell us that you’re not feeling particularly calm about the check up or dental work that you have come in for.
As dentists, we prefer working on patients who are calm and relaxed, as it makes our job much easier when the mouth isn’t tensed up or clenched. We want you to be completely at ease with what we are trying to achieve, and if you’re not, we’d rather you tell us about your anxieties before we start looking and poking around in your mouth – that won’t help you or us!
Try to tell us exactly what it is that is worrying you and we will work with you to put your mind at ease. If this means taking breaks where possible during your treatment or allowing you to feel comfortable in the surgery environment before proceeding with your appointment, then we will be glad to accommodate your needs.
Practice Relaxation Techniques
Anxiety in any form is a natural “fight or flight” response that your body undergoes when you are in a situation that you don’t feel safe or comfortable in. This gets your heart racing and blood pumping which isn’t ideal if you are heading into the dentist to undergo a procedure.
One technique that many of our patients with dental anxiety swear by is undertaking relaxation techniques before their appointment to get that heart rate back to normal and their minds in a much better place.
Distraction is a great way to divert your attention away from the procedure and focused on something more pleasing that you will find difficult to be distracted from. This could be something that you think of in your head, a visual distraction or even an audio focus.
If you’re distracted and diverting your full attention elsewhere, you’re less likely to be as worried about what your dentist is doing!
If your dental anxiety is more severe, there is the option of sedation available. Contrary to popular belief, sedation doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be unconscious; you simply will be in a more relaxed state and less aware of the treatment depending on the sedation used.
Local anaesthetic and gas and air are some of the techniques that can be used to reduce your anxiety while keeping you conscious, and dentists will only ever offer general anaesthetic as a last resort if you can’t be treated with any other method.
If you need to be sedated, it’s important to bring someone to your appointment with you to accompany you to and from the surgery as you may feel a little light-headed and confused afterwards and we want you to be able to get back home safely.
Don’t worry if you suffer from dental anxiety, we’re here to help! We don’t want you to fear us – we’re helping keep your mouth as healthy as possible to avoid potentially painful and troublesome issues arising in the future.
If you’d like to speak with our staff about your anxiety prior to your appointment, please don’t delay in contacting us today and we will be more than happy to accommodate your needs.