It is normal to get the jitters before or during a visit to the dentist. This can however be a case of dentist anxiety which is worse than the normal fear. It may end up being the reason behind avoiding dental visits altogether. This is not good as it will stand in the way of you getting the necessary dental checkups and treatments. This will have consequences not only on your oral health but also your general body health.
For your good, it is important that you address the dentist anxiety you may have and find ways to work around them. Here are a few tips that can help you out with this.
Identify Your Fear
For you to be able to address your fears, you need to first determine if you have any. There are several indicators for this including the avoidance of dental visits until in severe pain, sleepless nights before the visit, and getting physically ill among others. If you find yourself checking out one or more of these boxes, then you need to find out what you are fearful about. Knowing this will guide you in taking the appropriate steps in alleviating these fears.
Make Prior Arrangements
Before making an appointment, you can call or visit the dental clinic and find out if and how they can cater to your fears. This will make you less nervous even as you come in for your appointment. You may also use this opportunity to ask any questions that will help you to familiarize yourself and be less anxious about what’s to come. If it’s been a while and you feel embarrassed about the condition of your teeth, then this is also the time to get some assurance from the dentist to make you more confident about your appointment.
Find the Right Dentist for You
Reaching out to a dental clinic before booking an appointment will also help you to assess it and determine whether it is the right fit for you. If after expressing your concerns they seem dismissive, then you should move on to another one. The best dental clinic is that which is ready to accommodate your fears and do everything necessary to make you comfortable. Also, you need to find a dentist that you can easily relate with to enable you to be even more at ease.
When you come in for your appointment, feel free to open up further to your dentist about your dental anxiety. This will help your dentist know how to best manage your fears to make the experience easier for you. You may also have them explain to you about the procedure and how you are likely to feel to give you an idea of what to expect. Do not shy away from seeking clarification on anything unclear. Also, be sure to let them know in case you get uncomfortable or you need a breakthrough. You can decide on a signal before the procedure.
Take Someone With You
If you have dental phobia, carrying a friend along with you as you go for your appointment can be helpful. Having a familiar face around you as you undergo your dental procedure will put you more at ease. It is also easier for you to ask for help or comfort from them in case of anything.
Concentrating too much on what is happening around you is likely to get you more nervous. Hence, a distraction to help keep your mind off the dental procedure will be good for you. You may consider carrying your headphones so that you may listen to music or any other audio that will help you stay calm and block out any terrifying noises. The TV at the dental office can also be good destruction. You can engage in any activity that will keep you occupied and calm without interfering with the procedure.
If you have dental anxiety, then you most probably want to avoid the dental clinic as much as you can. However, gathering the courage to go for regular dental checkups can help you get over this fear. It will also help you to catch on dental issues early enough and avoid more expensive procedures that are likely to be more painful.
From fearing the related pain to feeling embarrassed about the condition of your teeth, there are several reasons that can make one anxious about visiting the dentist. Open communication with your dentist as well as other measures as seen above can help alleviate these fears and make dental visits an easier experience for you.