How to Manage Fear and Anxiety at the Dentist
Unfortunately, there is no getting past proper dental care by a specialist. However, what is not noticed by many is that a great deal of individuals suffer from anxiety and fear when visiting the dentist. What is usually a simple procedure for most people is regarded as a nightmare to others. Luckily, there are strategies that both the patient and the dentist can undertake to create a more relaxing environment to ease the patient’s fear and anxiety.
The environment that one finds themselves in influences feelings and expectations. When walking into a dental office for the first time, assess whether or not you feel comfortable, because if you aren’t comfortable in your environment, there is no chance you will feel comfortable during a dental procedure. Therefore, the first step in reducing your anxiety is to ensure that you like the environment you are in.
As expected, a dental professional and dental staff has little to no way of knowing what you are thinking and how you are feeling. The solution is to communicate with your dentist and staff and let them know how you feel. When there is an understanding that anxiety is an issue, your dentist and staff will do what they can to keep you in a comfortable and safe state. Both you and your dentist need to establish that a foundation on what exactly causes your fear and anxiety and how such issues can be mitigated. Perhaps performing a procedure a certain way or not showing you possible dental tools involved in the procedure will make you feel more comfortable.
Along with environment and communication, it is also important to help you psychologically. If it makes you feel more comfortable, the dentist should go over the tools used during the procedure, explain to you exactly what they are for, and how they effectively help you. It is also beneficial for your dentist to review the procedures with you, explain what will be done, and what you should expect. These techniques will not only build a relationship between you and your dentist, but it will allow you to feel safer in a dental environment.
If the anxiety and fear is extremely severe, or if certain procedures are just too much to handle, the final option is sedation. Your dental specialist can use either laughing gas (inhalation sedation) or an IV (intravenous sedation) to relax you. Both of these will help you get through the procedure smoothly and without fear.
Overall, there are a great number of techniques to controlling your fear and anxiety at the dentist. You just need to find the right professional that suits your needs and helps you feel as comfortable as possible, and luckily there are many professional dentists out there who care about their patients.
Contact Maple Avenue Family Dentistry today at (401) 237-4038.