If visiting the dentist causes you anxiety, you’re not alone. An estimated 23% of people around the globe suffer from some sort of dental anxiety or fear of the dentist. Fortunately, at Advanced Dentistry of Butler, we understand that not all patients feel comfortable.
As an effort to make dental appointments relaxing so patients can get the oral health care they deserve, we offer several helpful tips.
1. Book Your Appointment For First Thing in the Morning
Sometimes it’s not the dental appointment itself that causes the anxiety, instead, it’s the waiting around for the appointment. If you find that your anxiety is incredibly terrible before your dental appointment, do yourself a favor and book your appointment for first thing in the morning. By booking it for the first thing, you won’t have time to worry about it all morning. Instead, you can roll out of bed and go directly to the dentist and ultimately limit the amount of anxiety you experience. This will also help prevent you from worrying about your appointment all day and then canceling it at the last minute because you’re so anxious.
2. Bring a Buddy
Another way to stay relaxed during your dental appointment is by bringing a companion with you. Whether this is a friend or family member, having a friendly face nearby for support can ease your tension and help you relax. They can even hold your hand through the procedure if you need the support!
3. Distract Yourself
If sitting through procedures causes you the most anxiety, we encourage patients to watch TV or listen to music or a podcast during their appointment. You can focus on your source of entertainment while we quickly work in your mouth. Having a distraction will help you focus less on what’s going on in your mouth and naturally ease your nerves.
4. Practice Meditation and Deep Breathing
An effective way to calm anxiety immediately is by practicing meditation or deep breathing techniques. Simply doing a 10-minute exercise can help calm your nerves and ease your mind to relax during your dental appointment. If you’re new to meditation and deep breathing, consider downloading an app or watching a video on YouTube that will guide you through the process. The more you practice meditation and deep breathing, the more it will help you relax. Start practicing your techniques before your appointment and then put them to the test on the day of your appointment.
5. Share Your Fears/Anxiety With Your Dentist
You might feel embarrassed about your anxiety or fear but your dentist will want to know about them. Sometimes saying your fear out loud will help you overcome it. Saying it out loud and making your dentist aware will help them help you overcome them.
When you let Dr. Fornalczyk know that you have a fear of the dentist or suffer from dental anxiety, he will take it seriously. After listening to your concerns, he will explain to you everything you need to know about your procedure and offer solutions to help you feel more relaxed. For instance, he will check in with you every few minutes during your appointment to ask if you need a break.
We want to provide you with a comfortable and relaxing dental appointment. Please let us know if you have anxiety and if there is anything we can do to make you feel more comfortable. If you don’t speak up, we won’t know how to help you.
6. Schedule Your Next Appointment Before Leaving
If your dental anxiety prevents you from being able to pick up the phone to schedule appointments, this isn’t uncommon. Some people have such bad anxiety that they haven’t visited the dentist in a decade simply because they can’t book an appointment. Instead of making a call to schedule your next appointment, make it in our office before you leave. That way you don’t have to think about scheduling it later or talking yourself out of scheduling it. When it’s already on the books, you’re more likely to keep the appointment and show up.
7. Ask For Sedation Dentistry
If your dental anxiety is still too debilitating to allow you to relax at the dental office, please do not hesitate to ask us for sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry uses medication to calm your nerves and relax throughout your appointment. We offer three different types of sedation dentistry.
- Oral Conscious Sedation – This type of sedation requires you to take a pill before your appointment. The effects will make you feel very relaxed but still conscious. You will need a ride home from your appointment.
- Nitrous Oxide – This type of sedation involves inhaling nitrous oxide combined with oxygen throughout your procedure through a nasal mask. It offers relaxing effects that wear off minutes after removing the mask.
- IV Sedation – We offer this type of sedation by administering the medication intravenously. We can always inject more medication if it’s needed throughout your procedure. You will also require a ride home with this option.
Not sure which sedation dentistry option is right for you? Dr. Fornalczyk will recommend the best option for your needs. Contact Advanced Dentistry of Butler to book an appointment with sedation dentistry by calling (724) 282-4436 today.