Three Ways To Reduce Anxiety Stemming From Dental Appointments

There are a number of people who suffer from anxiety when it is time to go to the dentist. Do not make the mistake of thinking that these anxious patients are all children. Perhaps you are an adult who finds it very unnerving to go to the dentist. You may even get anxious about dental appointments for your children too. 

1. Inform the dentist.

Whether you are the patient or a caretaker of the patient, the dental staff needs to know if anxiety is present. Arrangements may be made for caretakers to sign consent forms for special care, and wait in the waiting room while services are being performed. Patients who struggle with anxiety will have special considerations built into their care procedures. 

2. Determine the actual fear.

Perhaps your fear is related to knowing that you have to have a procedure performed that will involve the use of a needle to administer local anesthesia. Your dentist may be able to substitute the use of the needle with a dental wand. The dental wand devices slowly administer anesthetics slowly over the course of a few minutes. 

If the fear stems from bad dental experiences, dental emergencies or first time dental appointments, your dentist may decide to administer a general anesthetic, which will induce a "sleep-like" state while the services are being performed. This type of sedation has its drawbacks. For example, you likely will not be allowed to drive for at least 24 hours. 

Consider therapy and distraction techniques.

If your anxiety is extreme, and it does not get better with future appointments, you may want to consider hypnotherapy. Do not let the thought of hypnosis make you become even more fearful. The techniques taught to participants helps them to garner control of their thoughts in situations that make them anxious. 

You may find that distraction techniques work well for your anxiety. For example, playing a favorite musical CD or DVD during the dental visit could distract you from what is going on. White noise CDs are a good option for relaxation and distraction. Parents can also consider taking a favorite stuffed animal, blanket or doll for their children to hold during dental services.

Final Thoughts

There is usually a way to curb or eliminate anxiety issues that stem from dental appointments. You should not skip appointments due to anxiety because this could contribute to oral health issues. Communicating your anxiety with your dentist, like those at Redwood Dental Centre, is the best way to ensure that you receive care that is tailored to your specific needs. 


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