Dental Anxiety: 5 Ways to Stop Fearing the Dentist

According to the American Dental Association, at least 59% of the American population skipped seeing a dentist. About 22% skipped appointments out of fear. Dental anxiety puts your teeth at risk. It leads to untreated cavities, periodontal disease, among other troubles.

The following are five ways to cope with dental anxiety so you’ll stop fearing the dentist.

Go Slow

Dental professionals agree that some treatment is better than no treatment. A dental cleaning once every six months is a dentist’s opportunity to visually see what’s happening in your mouth. X-rays allow them to see under the surface. 

They spot cavities, signs of gum disease, and the need for other dental treatments before it gets serious. If you grind your teeth, you’re putting them at risk for long-term negative effects. 

Most patients fear the dentist because they associate the visit with pain. If there’s an untreated cavity, the goal is to find them. When the dental tools press on your teeth, it’s going to hurt. It signals that treatment is necessary.

You feel pain because nerves connect to the teeth. If there’s a need for extensive dental work, it’s OK to go slow. 

Ask for Sedation

Dentists are in the business of helping patients keep their mouths healthy. To combat a fear of the dentist, the adoption of sedation dentistry picked up steam.

Sedation dentists offer patients several levels of anti-anxiety solutions.

During teeth cleaning, topical anesthesia prevents gum pain while the dental assistant cleans every tooth. If that’s not enough, the dentist injects novocaine into the nerve.

To help more anxious patients relax in the dental chair, sedation dentistry offers laughing gas and anesthesia. Dentists can prescribe valium or render the patient unconscious during the visit. It’s up to you.

Stay in Control

Dentists receive training in a bedside manner. Some practice it better than others. Regardless, they provide each patient with methods that keep them in control during dental treatment.

For example, they’ll request that you raise your left hand if you feel pain during cavity treatment.

If you’re visiting the dentist’s office for whitening, the staff places a bell next to you. The bleaching agent used to whiten is quite potent. Since you can’t talk, if you feel pain, you’re asked to tap the bell.

There are probably several thoughts running through your mind as you sit in the dental chair. Remember that you’re in control.

Dental professionals allot more time than needed for each appointment. They work into the time slot minutes for starting and stopping at the patient’s request. 

Practice Meditation

Dental tools, treatments, and procedures have improved over the last 20 years. Some dentists specialize in laser treatments and digital X-rays that cause no discomfort. 

However, dental anxiety continues to rise.

Practicing meditation during a dental appointment combats dental anxiety.

Some dentists practice meditation too. You’ll know you’re in good hands when they guide you through the breathing technique. 

It’s important to breathe in deeply for four seconds and release the breath slowly for at least four more. If you breathe too quickly, you’re likely to hyperventilate. 

A dentist causes pain during a visit if there are cavities or swollen gums present in the patient’s mouth. They’ll employ as many anti-anxiety tools as possible. You can also do your part and free your mind of worry.

Meditation doesn’t require medications, and it’s free. Plus, the benefits of meditation extend beyond the dentist’s office.

Pick the Right Dentist

Sometimes relieving dental anxiety comes down to picking the right dentist. The good news is that there are several research tools at your disposal, such as the internet.

Most dentists showcase their dental practice’s information online. Check out their website. If you receive a good vibe, give them a call and speak with a staff member. If you still feel good, schedule a dental cleaning.

You’re going to find out everything about the current state of your teeth and gums at the cleaning appointment. If you found the right dentist, address your dental anxiety.

The right dentist offers you several anti-dental anxiety accommodations. Otherwise, try your search again in six months when you need your next cleaning.

Conclusion

It’s important to cope with dental anxiety for your teeth. Dentists are aware of patient’s dentophobia. Thus, several adjustments occurred to help patients relax during a dental visit.