Most people understand that brushing and flossing are the basics of good oral hygiene, but general dentistry professionals say there is much more you can do to ensure your mouth remains healthy throughout your life. Strong teeth and gums allow you to communicate easily, enjoy good food, and avoid the pain and embarrassment associated with…
General Dentistry Considerations for Nervous Patients
Many people have anxiety regarding going to the dentist. General dentistry visits can be easier if you have some tools to ease your nerves and get through your appointment with minimal stress. Fortunately, there are ways to ensure that you are calmer during dental or other medical appointments.
General dentistry advice for nervous patients
A significant number of people fear going to the dentist for multiple reasons, including not feeling in control and dreading an unwanted diagnosis. Here are some ways to relieve this anxiety and make the most out of dental appointments.
Communicate with your dentist
If you have fear and anxiety regarding going to the dentist, speak to your dentist about your concerns. They may be able to make accommodations for you that would help you feel more comfortable, such as:
- Providing a sedative to relieve pain and stress during a dental procedure
- Turning on a television during the exam to provide a distraction
- Letting you know that it is OK to give them a signal if you need a break during your appointment
- Telling you what they are doing during the procedure, in order to make you feel more comfortable and familiar with the process
Simply talking about your fears and anxiety can do a great deal towards helping alleviate your symptoms. It is a good idea to find a dentist with who you are compatible and who will take your concerns seriously.
Bring a distraction
If you are nervous about general dentistry visits, it is a good idea to bring something to your appointment to distract yourself. This can include a book or game on your mobile phone to pass the time in the waiting room or earbuds to listen to your favorite music while getting dental work done. As long as you are still allowing the dentist and technicians to do their jobs, having a distraction can make the experience better for both you and your providers. Having something for your hands to play with, like a squeezable ball, can also be helpful for you and not a distraction to the dentist and dental assistants.
Similar to bringing a distraction, practicing mindfulness during your appointment can help relieve stress and anxiety. This includes paying attention to your breathing during the exam, as well as doing a body scan while in the dental chair. A body scan is where you tense and then relax each muscle in your body, and it can help you focus on the moment at hand.
Pay attention to time
Arrive at your appointment with enough time to fill out any needed paperwork and answer any other questions that the office might have for you. Feeling rushed can make existing anxiety even worse, so plan ahead to control that factor before your appointment.
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Many people have a fear of the dentist. Consider these tips to help alleviate nervousness during your next visit to the dentist.
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