If you are afraid of the dentist, you are not alone. Many people have anxiety surrounding dental treatments, and some go as far as to avoid making appointments altogether. This can lead to more severe tooth issues that require serious treatment methods to repair when they are finally addressed. Instead of delaying visiting, try these tips next time you schedule an appointment.
Meet Your Dentist First
Being able to meet your dentist outside of the procedure room and ask them any questions you have may help to put you at ease. Seeing them as the person they are and getting reassurance about what will be happening allows you to view them differently than as the fearful image of the dentist behind the mask with the tools. Be honest about your fears as well and make sure all the staff who will be involved in your treatments are aware and will accommodate you to help you feel more relaxed and comfortable.
Bring Someone with You
It is comforting to have a friend or family member with you during stressful times, and a dental appointment is no exception if you’re afraid. Check with the office to see if your guest can come into the procedure room with you to help keep you comfortable or distracted, or if they must remain in the waiting area. This way there will be no surprises once you get there that can trigger further anxious feelings, and you know they will be close by if needed.
Creating a distraction for yourself can help you to focus on something other than what is being done in the dentist’s chair. If the sound of the tools is what bothers you the most at your appointments, put on some headphones, start a favourite playlist, and focus on the music. If that isn’t an option, try to do something that involves your brain like mental math, saying the alphabet backwards, counting, reciting a speech in your head, or replaying scenes from a movie. Anything to mentally remove yourself from the situation helps.
Discuss Pain Management Options
Some people are afraid of the dentist because they are worried about the pain involved. In this case, it is advised that you speak with your dentist about the options available for pain management. Most clinics are quite accommodating as they understand that some procedures can be quite uncomfortable. Some options can include a topical numbing gel at the site where an injection is going for fillings, oral sedatives, nitrous oxide (also known as laughing gas), and intravenous sedation.
Create A Safe Signal
Talk with your dental care team about creating a safe “Stop” signal. As you will likely be unable to talk properly, this signal indicated to the staff to stop what they’re doing and address your concern, whatever it may be. This allows you to feel like you have control of your appointment, and ensure you feel safe, comfortable, and respected.
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If you’re nervous about the dentist, don’t worry! Give Family Dental Care a call at 613-736-5000, and we’ll do our best to make the experience as comfortable and easy as possible. We hope to see you relaxed and smiling soon!