While a trip to the dentist’s office is a tolerable experience for some, it is a heavy-winded, anxiety-ridden one for others. Some patients fear going to any type of doctor, experiencing stress and anxiety for days, sometimes even weeks, prior to their visit. In certain cases, it’s the very tools that are meant to provide comfort — anti-anxiety medication, needles for local anesthesia, and nitrous oxide (laughing gas) — that heighten patients’ apprehension. Putting off your visit to the dentist for long periods of time because of these fears might even increase your anxiety. Either way, you are not alone. We’ve experienced all levels of patient fear, and no matter how anxious you might be walking in the door, our serene environment, dedicated staff and steadfast approach will help you feel calm and safe throughout your procedure. Here, our team of professionals at The Hamptons Family & Cosmetic Dentistry discuss things you can do to overcome dental anxiety.
Mentally Prepare for Your Visit
Taking the initiative to practice a few simple techniques before your appointment will help decrease your anxiety. Mediation, sequenced breathing, positive affirmations and yoga are known to alleviate stress and put you in a positive state of mind. Bringing someone you trust to your visit may also help.
Pinpoint the Cause of Your Anxiety
Dr. Darian Hampton is specially trained to treat anxious patients; a variety of methods (e.g., sedation medication) may be offered to alleviate fear during an exam or procedure. However, your dentist won’t know where to start unless you communicate the reasons behind your anxiety, whether it ranges from not being in control, needles for local anesthesia or simply having a previous bad experience with another dentist. The more you trust your dentist and talk about it, the sooner they can help you relax.
Explore Options with Your Dentist
If you feel that you’ve made your way into the chair and now your fear is acting up, seek distractions like listening to your favorite song on your headphones or using breathing techniques that relax your muscles. You can also explore the sedative options your dentist offers, if you feel that you need them. Remember, you are always safe and well cared-for, and a good dentist will make sure you feel as comfortable as possible.
To learn more about how to overcome your anxiety, schedule an appointment today.