Do you feel relatively calm before your dental appointment, or are you a little nervous about a visit to the dental office? Do you worry about it days or weeks before the appointment? Are you someone who is terrified about going to the dentist or about a procedure, worrying about it all the time?
There are very few, if any, individuals who like to visit the dentist. The thought of someone probing around inside of our mouths can send anxiety levels through the roof. Try as they might, some people just cannot seem to relax when it comes to thinking about or anticipating their next dental visit.
What is Dentist Anxiety?
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some people fear going to the dentist so much, that they lose sleep and excessively worry. Dental anxiety is common, with up to 15 percent of Americans avoiding seeing a dentist due to fear.
From finding the perfect dental office to fit your dental needs, to bringing a good book to read, here are ways to stay calm when in the dentist office and the dentist’s chair:
1. Distract yourself by listening to music or bring something to read:
When you go to sit in the dental chair for your appointment, it can be stressful and your mind generally starts to race. Music allows the mind to relax and feel focused, as does reading. So, bring your headphones and a good book to help ease your mind. Remember to also breathe slowly and deeply. Some dentists will even allow you to listen to music while they work…but reading a book might not be as easy to work around.
2. Communication is key:
The best thing about relieving some anxiety is to talk to your dentist about it. There is no such thing as a stupid question. Your dentist is your advocate and here to help. Remember that everyone was a patient once. For such a close up profession, dentists are often very caring, understanding, and professional, and ready to work things out the best way possible.
Research your procedure, dentist, the facility, etc. Knowing what to expect at your dental visit can be reassuring. This way, you aren’t bombarded and left wondering what is going on.
5. Take a break:
Sometimes during procedures, patients often feel claustrophobic and anxious. If you feel like you need a break, let your dentist know. It’s okay to get up and stretch, or just take a little breather.