Visiting the dentist is a scary experience for many people. Globally, around 45% of adults have some form of dental anxiety.
If you fear the dentist, even booking a dental appointment can increase your heart rate and induce sweating. This anxiety can lead to skipping annual dental visits, which can be detrimental to your health.
Thankfully, there are ways you can help overcome your dental phobia. Knowing these tips ahead of time can help you have a better experience at your local dental clinic.
1. Take Someone With You
When visiting the dentist, even if it’s not your first time, take someone with you. They can offer support while waiting for your dental appointment and even come into the consultation room.
Choose someone who you know has been to the dentist enough times and doesn’t have a fear themselves. They can help you feel more comfortable if they can answer your questions.
2. Ask For Sedation
Another tip for overcoming your fear of the dentist is to ask for sedation. Part of dental care services is offering “laughing gas” if you have dental anxiety. This nitrous oxide can induce feelings of relaxation and calm your anxiety.
If you have a more extensive dental procedure, your dentist may even recommend a general anesthetic. This means you’ll be unconscious during the operation and feel nothing.
3. Schedule a Regular Dental Appointment
Another tip to overcome your fear of dentists is to schedule a regular dental appointment. You’ll become more familiar with the procedures when you visit the dentist regularly. This can help you feel more at ease when you arrive at your appointment because you already know what to expect.
Furthermore, regular dental visits mean you can detect teeth and gum problems early before they become larger, more painful issues.
4. Chat With Your Dentist
Chatting with your dentist beforehand can go a long way to easing your anxiety if you’re feeling anxious. If you have the opportunity, ask them any questions about the procedure you’re scheduled for. Like scheduling regular visits, discussing the dental process with your dentist means you’ll know what to expect and feel more at ease.
5. Don’t Arrive Too Early
Our final tip to overcome dental anxiety is not to arrive at your dental appointment too early. If you do, you give yourself too much idle time where your mind can wander. If you can’t avoid arriving early, bring something to distract you while waiting, for example, a crossword puzzle or playing a game on your smartphone (on silent, of course!).
Never Fear the Dentist Again
Regular dental appointments are essential for good oral health, but taking care of your teeth can be challenging if you have a phobia of going to the dentist. To help ease your dental anxiety, try bringing someone with you who can offer you support or ask for sedation. It’s also not recommended to arrive too early, but it’s best to bring a distraction if unavoidable.