Easing Dental Anxiety: Coping Methods that Can Help

Posted by Ami Desai DDS on Feb 13 2023, 09:33 PM

Dental anxiety is a common problem. Many patients tend to avoid going to the dentist because they are afraid of receiving treatment. It prevents them from getting the dental care they need. Dental anxiety is the fear of going to the dentist that can cause you to skip your appointments. While some people may not experience any symptoms of dental anxiety, others may feel nervous just thinking about coming to their appointment. If you suffer from dental anxiety, you may skip an appointment or even avoid going to the dentist at all. However, skipping regular dental care can lead to poor oral health that can be uncomfortable as well as painful and expensive to correct in the future. If you have dental anxiety, here are a few coping tips to ease dental fear.

Discuss dental fear with your dentist

Your dentist wants to make sure you feel safe and comfortable during your appointments. If there's something you're nervous about or concerned about, bring it up to him or her! Remember that dental treatments are meant to improve your oral and overall health, so don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it. 

Agree on a signal for the dentist to stop treatment

If you are uncomfortable during a procedure, let the dentist know right away. Some people find that it helps to agree on a signal with the dentist ahead of time, such as raising your hand. This way, you don't have to talk or explain anything you don't want to. Make sure it is something your dentist will spot easily. Once you've agreed on the signal, be sure to use it whenever you feel you need help.

Take a trusted person with you to your appointment

If dental fear is keeping you from visiting the dentist regularly, consider bringing someone you trust with you to your appointments. Having a familiar face in the room can make things go more smoothly and make you feel safer. You might also want to bring along some comforting music or snacks to help you stay relaxed during your procedure.

Bring distractions

Distractions can help you stay calm during your appointment. You can bring a comforting item such as a lucky charm or a small toy that you can take along with you to hold in your hands or to snack on. You can also bring a tablet, smartphone, or other devices that can play music and movies to distract you from your treatment process. 

Consider sedation dentistry

If fear keeps you from seeking dental care, consider the benefits of sedation dentistry. Sedation can help you relax during procedures so you can receive the necessary care you need to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Many patients find that receiving sedation actually helps them to avoid feeling anxious during future visits. Talk to your dentist about options for your comfort. Some dentists offer oral medications to be taken before the appointment to help you feel more relaxed when you arrive at the office. Nitrous oxide is also available for some patients. This gentle gas is inhaled during treatment and wears off quickly. It is safe and has no lasting effects after your appointment is over. Some dentists offer a combination option of medication and nitrous oxide for more relaxing appointments. Discuss what options might be best for you with your dentist. For more information about how sedation at a dentist's office can help ease your anxiety and even help you to feel comfortable getting needed treatment, schedule a consultation with one of our dentists today!

To learn more or to schedule your appointments with Ami Desai, D.D.S., please call (408) 946-0777 or visit our office at 440 E Calaveras Blvd, Milpitas, CA 95035. For more information, please contact us at 

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Ami Desai, D.D.S.

440 E Calaveras Blvd

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Phone : (408) 946-0777

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