Ever felt nervous or apprehensive before a dental appointment? If you have, know that you’re not alone. In fact, an estimated 30 million to 40 million Americans avoid dental appointments because of dental anxiety and phobia. You can, however, rest easy in the knowledge that there are ways of reducing, if not eliminating, your dental visit anxiety.
Here are some ADA-approved anxiety-reducing techniques you should try on your next dental visit.
Ease your load
As the expert dentists at dentalhealthcarecenter.com will tell you, many dentists are trained to handle anxious patients. Fortunately, as well, there are a variety of methods and treatments that can help to reduce pain and relieve fear and anxiety in the dentist’s chair. If you’re tense or fearful, make sure to get your feelings, concerns and worries out in the open. Share your fears with your dentist and the dental team. Your dentist will be happy to reassure you and help you overcome the negative feelings. He or she can also adjust treatment to your needs to make your dental visit as comfortable as possible.
Get your mind off it
Many people with dental anxiety are bothered by the sound of the drill. If the sound causes you stress, bring along your iPod with earphones. Listening to music can effectively distract you while in your dentist’s chair. It also helps if the treatment room has a TV or other distractions.
Controlled breathing can help you calm down. Take a big breath, hold the breath and let it out very slowly. Controlled breathing helps slow the heartbeat and relax the muscles. You can also try to relax through progressive muscle relaxation or even visualization techniques, such as imagining yourself on your favorite beach.
It’s best to visit your dentist when you are unlikely to be rushed or under pressure. That may mean scheduling your dental appointment on a Saturday or early in the morning when your day is less likely to be a full one.
Thanks to dentistry’s many technological advances, dental diagnosis, and treatment are now sophisticated and comfortable. Accordingly, today’s dental appointments are usually relaxed and virtually pain-free. You should therefore never avoid dental visits because of fear. Talk to your dentist, and he or she will go an extra mile to make your appointment as comfortable and anxiety-free as possible.