When you go in for a dental appointment, do you find that your hands shake? Do you sometimes break out into a sweat? Experiencing low levels of anxiety at the dentist is normal. For most, having someone work inside of your mouth is uncomfortable, and strange. However, if when you visit the dentist, you find yourself with symptoms of a panic attack, racing heart, dizziness, or sense of impending doom, then you probably suffer from dental phobia.
Feeling panicked and anxious in the dental chair is nothing to be embarrassed about. According to a recent poll, nearly forty million Americans avoid the dentist every year due to stress or anxiety. The problem is that avoiding the dentist can lead to more complicated dental work in the future, and put you at greater risk for gum disease, which is linked to increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
If you struggle with dental anxiety, here’s are four ways to relax at the dentist.
Make a De-stress Playlist
Often listening to music can help us feel calmer in the dentist chair. Try building a playlist of classical music, nature sounds, or your favorite old jams, and listening while the dentist does their thing. To better get into the music, trying keeping your eyes closed.
If pain is what scares you most about the dentist, asking for topical anesthesia can help to ease your mind. Even if you’ve just come in for a check-up, the dentist can easily apply the solution to surrounding gum tissue so that you won’t be able to feel a thing.
Communicate With Your Dentist
Many feel out of control when they don’t understand what’s going on or what’s about to happen. Try talking with your dentist about the steps of a procedure, why it has to be done, and how long it might take. In this way, you’ll be able to anticipate what’s about to happen, feeling more in-control of the situation.
Ask About Sedation Dentistry
If you feel your anxiety may be too much to overcome by yourself, then sedation dentistry can help. By using medications or other methods, sedation dentistry allows patients to feel calmer and more relaxed. But it isn’t only for those who experience dental anxiety.
There are other benefits, as well, including help who:
- Have a sensitive gag reflex
- Have trouble getting numb
- Want extensive treatments but have difficulty with long appointments.
Sedation dentistry is a safe and appropriate option for most patients. Those with respiratory conditions, allergies to medications used, or possible medication interaction, may not be a good fit. During your consultation, we’ll talk about the benefits and risks to see if it’s right for you.
If you want to learn more about sedation dentistry in Valdosta, GA, please call (229) 242-5511 or email for an appointment with Dr. Nelson Clements.