Many people experience fear when going to the dentist. Some people have even developed a severe phobia that has resulted in their complete avoidance of having any dental work. This can be very dangerous because teeth can become infected and affect other parts of the body. It is a shame that in countries like Canada where dental care is accessible to everyone, there are still people with rotting teeth and severe infections. Visiting the dentist does not have to be a terrifying experience. The more relaxed the patient, the easier the experience will be. Here are some tips on how to overcome the fear of going to a dentist.
Choose a dentist you like
It is important to choose a dentist that you feel comfortable and connected with. This will help you feel calm and confident during treatment. If you have friends of family members that have had good experiences with a certain dentist, try them out to see if this makes you feel better.
Don’t give it too much thought
If you have an upcoming dental appointment, try not to spend too much time thinking about it. The more your focus on it, the more anxiety you will feel. Put it in the back of your head and just show up on the day of your appointment.
Talk to other people that have had positive experiences
If you are having a major procedure like wisdom tooth surgery, talk to other people that have had it done. Chances are, it is not as painful and scary as it sounds. Hearing other people’s positive experiences will be reassuring and can eliminate some anxiety.
Take a loved one
Showing up to your appointment alone can make your very nervous and scared. If you take a friend or family member along, you will feel reassured that there is someone there to take care of you.
Distract yourself in the waiting room
Nothing is more nerve-racking than sitting in the waiting room waiting for your appointment. Take a book or crossword puzzles that will take your mind off dental work while you are waiting.
Practice relaxation techniques
Look up relaxation techniques and breathing exercises. Start practicing them one or two weeks before your dental appointment. You will feel more relaxed each day before the appointment and you will be able to use them while you are having work done.
Try some natural remedies
Try herbal teas and natural supplements that are for calming anxiety. You can start taking them the days leading up to your appointment. Make sure you mention to your dentist that you are taking these supplements in case they have any interaction.
Ask about sedation
If you feel like you will not be able to survive, ask your dentist about sedation. Many doctors offer laughing gas or IV sedation in which you will fall asleep during the procedure and have minimal memory of the work that was done.
These techniques will help you feel less anxious about visiting your dentist. It is very important to find solutions so that you do not neglect your dental care.
Marjory Kingston currently works at Ottawa Sedation Dentists. They aim to reduce patients’ anxiety when they go to the dentist. Depending on a patient’s level of anxiety, they will suggest a treatment that best suits their needs.