Dental fear or anxiety is a normal reaction to a dental situation. However, it still affects your oral health and hygiene. It can lead to unhealthy dental habits like avoiding routine checkups or avoiding the dentist altogether.
Discuss your dental fears with your dentist
Your dentist understands that you have dental fears and has probably dealt with the same anxieties from patients in the past. Discussing your fears will help both you and your dentist relax before your appointments. This will allow your dentist to give you the dental care that you need without adding stress to your dental procedures.
Patients often discuss their fears in a casual manner during their consultations with their dentists. However, if it’s easier for you, you can write out your list of concerns and bring it with you to your appointment. This will also give your dentist time to look over your notes and prepare for any questions during your consultation.
Agree on a signal
Once you and your dentist have determined what type of care you need and you feel comfortable discussing your concerns, you can discuss a signal that your dentist can use to comfort you during a procedure. You can also communicate when you no longer need to be comforted. Speak up! Your comfort level is the most important factor in any dental treatment plan.
Take a friend or family member with you for support
While you’re in the office for your procedure, ask your dentist about the possibility of taking a friend or loved one along with you for support. Having someone there to soothe you if you are uncomfortable can help. If you’re feeling anxious, your friend may be able to distract you with conversation or massage your shoulders. They can also help you calm down by reassuring you that the procedure will be over soon.
Bring distractions to occupy your mind during procedures
Plan your playlist in advance, or bring an audio device to listen to music while you wait for your turn. You can also bring along a book to read to help you pass the time. Distracting yourself while undergoing dental procedures can also help you relax and even fall asleep.
Ask for sedation dentistry
If needed, ask your dentist to prescribe you a mild sedative to help you feel more at ease during the procedure. Sedation is often needed for treatments like tooth extractions or implant placement since these are more invasive and require multiple visits. Using a topical anesthetic beforehand can numb the area and cut down on pain. Afterward, ask your dentist for some aftercare tips, such as over-the-counter pain relief medication.
To learn more, visit our Daniel Tebbi, D.M.D. office at 16661 Ventura Blvd Ste 620, Encino, CA 91436, which is quite close to Sherman Oaks 91403, 91495, 91423, Studio City 91604, Van Nuys 91436, 91411, and Reseda 91335. You can also reach us at (818) 789-2034.