4 Ways to Prepare for Your Next Dental Appointment for Less Anxiety

Posted: June 16, 2020 By: Comment: 0

Most people tend to feel a little anxious before coming to the dentist. If you’re one of those patients that feels a little anxiety before coming to a dental exam, there are things you can do to make yourself more comfortable in the chair. 

Understanding Dental Anxiety 

A good number of people feel some sort of anxiety revolving around their trips to the dentist. Research has found that 36% of the population suffer from dental anxiety and fear, with 12% of those suffering from extreme dental fear. The research further showed that when patients have a better understanding of dental fear, anxiety, and phobia, they’re less likely to avoid necessary treatments. What are ways patients can lessen their anxiety? If you are someone who feels nervous before going in to see your dentist, consider implementing these 4 tips to put yourself at ease. 

4 Ways to Prepare and Feel Less Anxiety

Though there’s no cure-all for feeling less nervous about visiting the dentist or having a procedure done, these 4 tips could help put your mind at ease before you arrive. 

1.Practice good oral care at home

This might sound like a no brainer. However, you’ll be surprised how quickly our oral healthcare routines can suffer when life gets busy. This can even happen when we feel anxious. For people that already suffer from anxiety and other mental health issues on a day-to-day basis, it’s important to develop a good oral healthcare routine. If you have a good routine, you’re more likely to stick to it even when you’re feeling down. It is recommended to brush your teeth twice a day (for at least two minutes), along with flossing and using a fluoride mouthwash each day as well. The healthier your mouth at home, the less likely you’ll run into problems in the dentist office. 

2.Arrive early

We suggest arriving early to your dentist appointment, especially if you’re feeling anxious. This is so you can talk to our team about any fear you have in the upcoming appointment. In most dental offices, the team is going to be more than happy to listen to all of your concerns and help you better understand what your appointment is going to look like. If you arrive late, you risk not having as much time with your dentist too. In this instance, it can cause more anxiety if you feel like everything is rushed. 

3.Bring questions or concerns

If you think of any questions or concerns at home before your appointment, write them down. Writing things down in advance to bring with you will help ensure you don’t forget anything you want to discuss during your appointment. Sometimes, once you get to the office, you’ll forget some of the primary concerns you had at home. If you write them down, you can rest assured knowing you’ll get all your questions answered during your visit, which can help alleviate some anxiety. 

4.Be open with your dentist 

You don’t need to hide things from your dentist. Your dentist isn’t there to judge you or to make you feel scared — they want to help you! Be open with your dentist and honest about your current oral hygiene routine. Also talk about what your diet looks like, what medications you take, and more. All of this will help your dentist best help you. No one wins when you leave information out, so being open with your dentist will ensure that you are getting the best possible care for your condition. 

Fight Severe Dental Anxiety with Sedation

Sometimes, these little things we can do to prepare for an appointment aren’t enough to make us feel more calm about going to the dentist. Fear of pain is the main reason people avoid the dentist, according to WebMD, which is one of the reasons we offer sedation dentistry. If you’re one of the people that suffers from severe dental anxiety, ask about your sedation options. 

We want you to feel calm in our chair, and sometimes that might mean you need a little extra help. We have options that will help ensure you feel safe and comfortable in our chairs. Common sedation options include: 

  • Oral sedation – this will be a prescribed sedative that you will take about 30 minutes before your appointment time. These can help you feel calm during your visit or procedure. Oftentimes, these will allow you to stay awake through your procedure. However, you are likely to not remember the dental work being done. 
  • Laughing gas – named after its ability to give you a happy feeling, this is a good option if you have dental anxiety. When you breathe in this gas, you will receive light sedation and feel relaxed during your visit. 
  • IV sedation – this is not commonly used for minor procedures, but rather for work that involves use of heavier equipment. If you don’t want to be awake at all during your appointment for a procedure, you can request the use of IV sedation. 

Call Dr. Ania 

If you’re overdue for a trip to the dentist because of dental anxiety, contact our office today. We can answer your questions, listen to your concerns, and get you in for an appointment so you can quit living in pain. Oral health problems can cause great damage if left untreated, call now for an appointment: (303)-872-9940. 

 

Dr. Ania Mohelicki
AUTHOR

Dr. Ania Mohelicki

All stories by: Dr. Ania Mohelicki