Dental anxiety may keep you from seeing your dentist even if need dental work done. Alternatively, you may end up going anyway, but feel a sense of dread every time you do. Going to the dentist might not always be a very comfortable experience, but it doesn't have to be a scary one. The dental process isn't unchangeable; you can alter things as necessary to help you feel more at ease, such as the way your dentist communicates with you or by bringing distractions with you.
Here are a few ways to make your next dentist visit more comfortable:
Ask Questions and Offer Information
If you're worried about speaking up and having your dentist think you sound silly, fear not. When it comes to your health, there are no silly questions. Asking about any concerns you have, questions about a procedure or pain you've been feeling, can help you both gain a better understanding about each other, and possibly allay some of your fears.
Likewise, as it is with most medical professions, the more your dentist knows, the more he or she can help you. Some things might be embarrassing to admit, like if you don't brush or floss as often as you should, but by telling your dentist everything you know to start, it can save you lots of poking and prodding. Tell your dentist about any issues you've been having and what might have caused them.
Request Detailed Communication
Sitting in the dentist's chair can fill you with anxiety because you're in a position where you can't speak. Your dentist has a lot of tools at his or her disposal and uses them in your mouth. If this scares you, request that your dentist explain everything before he or she does it. This helps you stay in the know about what's going on and lets you prepare for each step. You can also request that your dentist periodically ask you if it's OK to continue instead of just pushing onward.
If there's something that will help you, let the dentist know before you start. He or she will likely be completely willing to accommodate you; if it's easier for you, it's easier for your dentist.
Ask About Anxiety Relief
For those with severe anxiety, your dentist may be able to give you something to help calm your nerves for every visit. This can often come in the form of medication; while not every dentist will have the means to knock you out completely, you may qualify for sedation, which helps you feel drowsy and relaxed during the entire procedure. This often requires having a friend to drive you home, but it can reduce your anxiety and help the procedure pass more quickly.
However, even if your dentist does have this available, he or she may not offer unless you ask. Make sure to speak with your dentist about your circumstances. You may also need to provide information about any anxiety medication you are currently taking, if applicable.
Now that you know a few ways to feel more comfortable at the dentists office, call Jeremy Archibald DDS PC to schedule your next appointment.