Are you nervous thinking about a visit to the dentist? You are not alone. According to studies, 20% of Americans visit the dentist rarely because they are anxious about going, while 5-8% of Americans avoid the visit entirely.
There are strategies you can use in overcoming the fears and taking charge of your health for many years to come. Below are some strategies you can use.
Choosing a dentist you like
This is one of the most effective strategies to cope with dental phobias and anxieties because the dentist plays an important role in how you feel when you go for the appointment. Good dentists such as Fleet dental clinic are the ones who is willing to listen to your anxieties, understanding, and invested in helping you feel more comfortable during your dental appointments. If the dentist you currently have doesn’t live to these standards, then you should consider looking for a new one.
Establishing a two-way communication with your dentist
A dentist plays a big role in how you feel during the dental appointment because he is the one responsible for making you comfortable, but you can diminish or enhance their ability to do this by your willingness to communicate. A two-way street is an effective way to communicate. A good example is:
- Being honest about your anxieties so they can look for a way to make you feel more relaxed
- Asking the dentist to explain to you the procedure they will be doing before they start and during the process. You are going to feel in control.
- Working with the dentist to have a signal where you need to take a break and they need to stop what they are doing. You will feel like you are in the driver’s seat and the dentist will know when you are going past your comfort zone.
Reminding yourself that dental procedures have become safe and less painful
There has been a lot of advancement in the world of dentistry, and the image of a dentist with a giant electric drill as they leer over the patient is something only seen in horror movies. This is not an accurate representation of what happens when you go to the dentist’s office. The advancements have made dental procedures and treatment less painful and more comfortable. Even dental procedures like root canal are not painful, even though it has a negative reputation. Before you go for your dental visit, remind yourself that is not as bad as your anxiety makes you think.
Listening to something you love
Listening to your favourite podcast on your iPod or smartphone, an audiobook, or your favourite jam is going to help you. Make sure you let your dentist know you will be listening to it before they can start the procedure. Distracting yourself can be a great strategy to feel comfortable because you detach yourself from your anxieties. If you don’t have a device or the battery runs out, then you can get similar results by doing times tables in your head or reciting the alphabet backward.
Practicing relaxation techniques
Meditation, deep breathing, and acupressure have been shown to be effective in reducing anxiety and overwhelm – you can practice each of the strategies at your dentist’s office. You should be familiar with them before going to the dentist. It should not be your first time doing it because you will not get the results you desire. Try every day for the week leading to the appointment so that you know how to put them to use when you need them.