Dental anxiety is one of the most common phobias, with around a third of adults disliking visiting the dentist and for 1 in 10 the aversion is so strong that they actually avoid making visits at all.
There are a number of different steps you can take to help make your visit to the dentist as stress free as possible.
Recognise your fears
It can help to write down your fears so that you are better able to articulate them. Listing your fears will not just help you to recognise them, but will also aid your dentist in explaining what’s causing your anxiety of phobia and helping you deal with it.
Find the right dentist
It is important to go to a dentist that has been highly recommended and focus your search on a dentist that specialises in treating anxious or fearful patients. On your visit, take note of the practice’s atmosphere and surroundings. If it’s clean and you feel relaxed, then that’s a good sign it’s a practice that can address not just your oral problems but also your anxiety.
While it’s comforting to hear phrases like, “There’s nothing you should worry about,??? or “It’s going to be different with us,??? keep in mind that a good dentist will not say those things. Instead, the right dentist will offer assurance through an understanding of your fears without making you feel judged.
Talk to your dentist
Use relaxation techniques
There are a number of techniques you can try, including breathing techniques, bringing music into your appointment or asking the nurse to keep you distracted discussing other topics. Different relaxation and distraction techniques work best for different people so try several to find what is right for you.
If you suffer from sever dental anxiety, dental sedation may prove to be the best solution. Sedation can be provided either by inhalation sedation, this means breathing in a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen, which quickly leads to a more pleasant and relaxed feeling or intravenous sedation, which is given via injection normally in the arm or the back of your hand, this will make you become drowsy and unaware of treatment but you will still be able to co-operate with the dentist. In both cases you will remain conscious but feel a little drowsy. You will be able to receive treatment free from fear or anxiety.