A dental visit can be a nerve-racking experience for most patients. While facing a drill and other dental tools is part of any regular visit, there’s also the possibility of having a pain-inducing experience, from something as simple as filling a cavity to a much-dreaded root canal. It’s no wonder why many patients experience dental anxiety, especially while they’re sitting in the waiting room — the fear of pain can be overwhelming.
A few practices and relaxation techniques can help quell those dental fears. Here are four tips to help you overcome dental anxiety ahead of your next appointment.
1. Share Your Fears Beforehand
There’s no reason for you to not be honest with your dentist and their staff about your fears. They would most likely appreciate your truthfulness because it will allow them to make the right changes to better accommodate you.
When you arrive at your dentist’s office for your appointment, share your concerns with the hygienist, office staff, and especially your dentist, explaining what it is about your visit that’s causing the anxiety.
2. Practice Calming Breathing Techniques
When patients get scared at the dentist, they unintentionally hold their breaths. This means that their oxygen levels decrease and their levels of panic rise. If not cared for in time, this can lead to hyperventilation, chest tightness, or even fainting.
Adopting breathing techniques is a must because you can use them anywhere — even while waiting in your dentist’s lobby. Learning to breathe more deeply or through your belly allows your body to send a message to your brain, telling it that it needs to relax. Once your brain relaxes, your heart rate and blood pressure can do the same.
3. Practice Meditation
Meditation is a great, simple way to get your body and mind in a tranquil state before going to the dentist. All you have to do is sit, close your eyes, steady your breathing, and focus on getting rid of all your anxiety-ridden thoughts. The practice teaches you to be mindful of the present, which in turn prevents you from wasting energy on thoughts about your next dental visit.
4. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions
One of the main reasons why many patients suffer from dental anxiety is fear of the unknown and, above all, fear of pain. When your tooth hurts and you don’t know what to expect from your dental visit, you can feel like you don’t have any control over what may happen. The best way for you to battle against this is by asking your dentist questions so that they can address your fears and concerns.
This will give your dentist a chance to explain what’s wrong and what needs to be done, giving you a better understanding of every step involved in any procedure you need to undergo. By knowing what to expect, you’ll be able to keep your anxiety minimal.
Take Back Control Today
At denTEL, we aim to educate patients, providing all the insight they need to make empowered decisions and overcome their dental fears.
Our platform features a directory that patients can use to find a dentist that best fits their needs, searching by service, treatment, procedures, specialty, and location. Patients can view reviews and ratings of dentists in their area, as well as treatment packages and prices. They can also submit treatment plans that local dentists can bid on, and select which provider works the best for their needs before committing to treatment.
denTEL’s brochure site also serves as an information hub so that patients can learn about procedures, specialists, and the platform itself. With our guidance, you can stay in control and feel confident about the dentist you choose.