Feeling anxious before a dentist appointment is completely normal. It's common to worry about pain and discomfort, what the dentist might find, or how much treatment you might need. But dental anxiety can cause you to avoid the dentist altogether. This can make you more likely to experience oral health complications because you're not getting the care you need. Here are a few tips that will help ease dental fear.
Speak up about your anxiety
Your dentist wants you to feel comfortable and relaxed while receiving the dental care you need. If you have concerns about an upcoming appointment or procedure, don't be afraid to speak up. Whether it's fear of needles, extreme gag reflexes, or just the anxious anticipation of sitting in the waiting room for too long, it's important to share your concerns with your dentist ahead of time. If the dentist knows your triggers and fears, he/she will be able to take steps to ease them and make your visit more comfortable for you.
Consider sedation dentistry
Some patients may benefit from medication or conscious oral sedation during their procedures. Discuss this with your dentist if you're worried about feeling anxious during your cleanings and exams. Sedation dentistry is the use of medication to help patients relax or feel drowsy during a dental appointment. Although sedation itself is not a form of treatment, it may make procedures that are otherwise painful more tolerable for the patient. This may involve the use of nitrous oxide gas, pills, or even IV sedation. As always, it is best to consult with your dentist before starting any treatment plan. The best way to determine which type of sedation is right for you is to talk to your dentist. You can also talk with your provider about any medications you are taking, as certain medications may interfere with the effectiveness of sedation. If you are pregnant or have certain medical conditions, you should also discuss these with your care provider beforehand.
Take a trusted person with you
Having a friend or family member accompany you to the dentist can help ease your nerves. Pick someone who likes going to the dentist and is supportive of visiting the dentist's office regularly. This person can help you relax by distracting you from worries. They can also act as an extra set of ears in helping you communicate with your dentist about your dental health needs.
For more information on our dental services, schedule an appointment with our dentist at Hallmark Dental Group or visit our dental office in St George at 335 East St George Blvd #201, Saint George, UT 84770.