19 Jul 2016 Struggling With Dental Anxiety
For those who suffer from dental anxiety, an ordinary cleaning can be a nightmare inducing event. A gentle doctor and their caring staff can go a long way to reducing your fears. With a bit of planning and some time for sedation, you can have a relaxed and enjoyable visit.
There are a few things that you as the patient can do to prepare. If it helps, dress warmly for your appointment. If you are afraid of dentist, that anxiety may cause you to feel tense and chilly. Wear warm slacks and socks to reduce your discomfort and tension. For those who find the sounds of dental care (drills, metal scrapers against your teeth, or mechanical cleaning tools) uncomfortable, headphones and music or a book on tape can be a great distraction.
Many people experience a period of sleepiness right after lunch. Scheduling your dental procedure at that time could help ease you toward sleep during your appointment. Please know that you will be carefully monitored throughout your appointment so you can sleep in safety. Additional sedation options include conscious sedation or laughing gas. Let us know the name and number of your driver, and we’ll contact them at the end of your appointment.
If you plan to be fully sedated to protect yourself from the anxiety of dental stress, please contact your dental professionals about any restrictions on food or beverage intake before your appointment.
If your dental stress is keeping you from regular dental care, consider a one on one appointment with dental staff about the things you fear most. Many people who fear the dentist do so because of a difficult dental appointment in the past. While you can be assured that technologies have greatly improved, there is great vulnerability in lying back in the dentist chair and feeling powerless.
If you choose not to be fully sedated, work out a system of hand signals between you, the dentist and his staff. Make sure that everyone in the room knows that you will, for example, raise your hand if you feel pain or any sense of panic. Your dental anxiety will lessen during your appointments if you feel in control of your treatment. The dental team wants to know if you are having any discomfort so they can address it immediately. A logical system of hand signals will put you in the driver’s seat.
With the right communication, your days of being afraid of dentist could be over.