Quit the Chattering: How to Deal with Your Dental Anxiety
You're eating popcorn then all of a sudden you feel it, the dreaded toothache. Instantly your palms get sweaty you may even get knots in your stomach.
Dental anxiety is more common than you would think. It's estimated that around 80 percent of Americans have some anxiety when it comes to seeing the dentist.
Many of us have learned this fear from an early age, most likely from our first dentist appointment. Unfortunately, this isn't a fear that we can get over by avoidance. Avoiding the dentist only makes the situation worse.
When it is time to go to the dentist, we have some tips to help you get through your appointment.
Share Your Dental Anxiety with Your Dentist
The best thing you can do is tell your dentist and the assistant, what exactly your fear or dental anxiety is about. If you are open with the staff they can help to modify things to lessen your anxiety.
Having good communication with them can be key to a tear-free dentist appointment. The different types of anxiety have different approaches to counteracting them.
Anxiety Caused by Expected Pain
This is one of the most common types of dental anxiety. Most simply because no one likes pain, and odds are if you have dental anxiety and you're at the dentist - you may already be in pain.
Let your dentist or dental assistant know, they can give you topical numbing before the shots. Also don't be afraid to tell them that you can still feel it if you think you can. Even if it's in your head, it can't hurt to give yourself the extra peace of mind.
If that doesn't ease your mind, many dental offices can use the assistance of nitrous oxide or laughing gas that can help you relax.
Bad Experience in the Past
It seems like most people who have dental anxiety have had bad experiences in the past. Whether it was because of anxiety or the cause if it.
Bad experiences can leave you uneasy and anxious to go back to the dentist. Again, tell your dentist what happened, that way they can do their best to avoid doing what triggered you before.
Give your new dentist a chance don't hold the new one accountable for the old one's actions.
Not being Informed
Some people are afraid of the unknown. If you're someone who likes to be told what they are doing every step of the way, tell them that.
If you have dental anxiety, and you've never had the dentist walk you though, it's worth a try. Knowing what's happening can help settle your anxiety. And if you don't like it, you can always ask the dentist to stop.
You Don't Need to be Anxious About the Dentist
Dental anxiety is so common that associate Professor Jason Armfield came up with a 'dental anxiety scale' to help treat it all around the world.
The key to lowering your anxiety levels at the dentist is to stay open and communicate. Dentists understand and are more than willing to do what they can to help you feel at ease.
If you have other concerns or are looking for a dentist with experience in dental anxiety, contact us.