Many millions of people avoid going to the dentist because of fear and anxiety around getting dental work done. Often, the fear is anxiety about experiencing pain, or from negative past experiences. However, often the fears are unfounded and can be easily overcome.
If dental problems go unaddressed due to anxiety, the problem can often get worse – beginning a cycle of additional pain, and therefore additional anxiety.
If you are experiencing anxiety about going to the dentist, your first step should be to discuss the anxiety you are having with your dentist. In many cases, having an open communication plan with your dentist can lower your levels of stress.
For those who are nervous for an upcoming dental visit, try these tips to help with the anxiety:
- Speak with your dentist about your fears;
- Focus on your breathing – regular, deep, slow breaths while you are having your dental visit can help to lower stress;
- Listen to calming music;
- Use hand signals with your dentist – sometimes not being able to openly communicate during a procedure can cause anxiety;
- Choose an appointment time that is least stressful to you. Don’t rush or cause yourself extra pressure.
For those who experience anxiety about going to the dentist, simply booking an appointment can be an awful experience. Try to have open communication with your dental team about how you are feeling – they can guide you to having a better dental visit experience.