Many people feel fear or anxiety about visiting the dentist. Here is some advice and tips from our Surrey team to help you get over your dental anxiety.
Most people experience some degree of anxiety when visiting, whether it has to do with a fear of needles, discomfort with the feeling of invasiveness and loss of control, worry about pain, past negative experiences, or even embarrassment over poor dental health.
Our Surrey dentists help our patients deal with varying degrees and types of dental anxiety often. Over the years, they’ve discovered what typically helps quell fear and anxiety best.
Face Your Fears
Actively consider and confront your discomfort around visiting the dentist; really engage with it. What's bothering you, in particular? Why does it bother you? Where do these feelings come from? You may find it helps to write them down in a list. This can help you look at them more objectively and see them for what they are. It will help you explain your feelings and concerns to your dentist, too, so she can better address them.
Communicate Your Fears to Your Dentist
Don’t worry, we won’t be offended or annoyed! It’s perfectly understandable to feel anxiety about a medical procedure, and that includes dentistry, too. We consider helping patients deal with these feelings to be part of our jobs.
We believe that good communication is the cornerstone of a good patient-dentist relationship. Tell your dentist how you’re feeling right away, ideally during your initial consultation. This will allow the dentist to better understand your needs and develop a treatment plan that suits them.
Together, you and your dentist can agree on the cues and signals to use during treatment for when you need a break or become uncomfortable.
Try Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation techniques can help you feel a bit more calm in the days and hours before your dental appointment, and during the procedure as well. You can try things like yoga and controlled breathing to help relax your muscles and slow your heartbeat.
Distracting yourself can help you keep your mind off of what’s going on during your dental procedure. For example, you can count to yourself, listen to soothing music, play with a stress ball, or come up with number patterns in your head.
Ask About Dental Sedation
Your dentist may be able to provide dentistry under sedation for patients whose dental anxiety can’t be quelled through the above means.
Choose the Right Dentist for You
Having a dentist who takes a special interest in helping patients with dental anxiety can be very helpful to those patients. Our Surrey dentists have spent a lot of time and care considering how best to help patients handle dental anxieties, and they take an active approach to addressing a wide range of fears almost every day.
We consider it our mission to help you feel comfortable and at ease with your dental treatment. After all, patients who feel good about their treatment will be more likely to get it, to the benefit of their oral health!