Dental fear or dental phobia is an intense fear of dental visits. It is generally caused by a negative past experience at the dentist. Many people with dental fear put off going to the dentist until their condition worsens. If you have dental anxiety, here are a few tips for you to overcome it.
Speak up about your worries
We know that your fears may be keeping you away from the dentist. It’s not uncommon for some patients to have anxiety about visiting the dentist. Many patients have a tough time even calling and setting up an appointment due to their fears. It’s often easier to avoid it altogether. If you feel this way, you should speak up! Tell your dentist that you have fears, and they’re unable to be ignored any longer. Just saying the words out loud can help you feel better. They’ll want to help you fix whatever it is that’s causing you discomfort so you can have a comfortable visit.
If you’re afraid of needles or injections, let them know too. They may be able to prescribe an oral sedative to take before your appointment. If the thought of someone working in and around your mouth makes you uneasy, tell them. Your dentist will be able to give you options to ensure that you’re as comfortable as possible during your visit. You can speak with them about what their procedures are and what you could do to help ease your nerves.
Agree on a signal
This is one of the most important things you can do to ease your fear. If you will be alone in the dental chair, or if you have someone who cannot speak for you for whatever reason, establish a signal ahead of time. Your dentist will understand your request and come to your aid at the appropriate time. For example, you can raise your hand to signal that you may need a break or that you need a stronger numbing agent.
Take a trusted person with you
Bringing someone, you trust to the dentist can help ease the pressure of the appointment. This is especially important if you are fearful of pain but need dental work. Your companion may be able to distract you during the procedure by talking to you or distracting you with a conversation or bringing you a stress ball or other object that can help you relax. It’s up to you who you bring to the appointment, but it’s best to choose someone who won’t be afraid to speak up for you if you start to feel panicky or uncomfortable. It’s also ideal to choose someone who is in relatively good overall health since they may have to sit through additional visits as you recover from a procedure.
Bringing a distraction, such as a book or music player, can help you feel more at ease during your visit with us. You can listen to your favorite songs with your headphones. With a little preparation, you can ease your dental fear.
Consider sedation dentistry
If fear is keeping you from getting the dental care you need, sedation options can help you relax in the dentist’s chair. You’ll still be able to respond to the dentist if necessary. Some patients may need or chose not to use local anesthesia for restorative procedures like fillings and crowns. In these cases, a dentist may recommend nitrous oxide or intravenous sedation. Nitrous oxide is a colorless gas that is delivered through a mask during your procedure. It relaxes you and wears off quickly, so you can go home soon after your treatment is completed. IV sedation uses medication delivered directly into your bloodstream to relax you throughout your entire appointment. Your vital signs are monitored throughout the procedure to ensure your safety. These options allow you to get the dental treatments you need without pain. Talk to your dentist about your options for sedation dentistry.
For more information or to schedule an appointment for your dental treatments with the dentists at Signature Smiles, located in Louisville, give us a call at 502 326-1800 or visit our office today. We look forward to working with you soon!
4642 Chamberlain Ln Suite 252, Louisville, KY 40261
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