Introduction• Many people who don’t suffer from dental anxiety can’t understand why those who do don’t just “suck it up” and push their way through the appointment. After all, you only have to go twice a year. Of course, people who do have anxiety about the dentist know that it isn’t even remotely that simple.• If you are one of the thousands who feel terrified at the thought of the dentist chair, here are some proven tips for dealing with your anxiety, that others use everyday.
Open Communication• According to Everyday Health, maintaining an open dialogue with your dentist about treatment options helps to give you a sense of power and control over the situation.• If it makes you feel better to know everything that’s going to happen, let the dentist know. If you’d rather be kept in the dark, let her know that, too.
Open Communication• You may even want to come up with a signal to use with your dentist and hygienist to let them know when you’re feeling antsy
Effective Pain Medication• The website WebMD says that one of the primary reasons people avoid seeing the dentist is due to fear of pain. Luckily, there are a number of effective pain medications available to dentists so they can numb just about any degree of pain before it really has a chance to take effect.
Effective Pain Medication• The most common pain medications available at the dentist’s office include: • Topical Anesthetic – these are applied with a cotton swab and are used to numb a spot in your mouth on your gums before minor work is done. • Electronically Delivered Anesthesia – this is also known as TENS, and it is designed as an alternative to a local anesthetic injection. • Nitrous Oxide – this is also called ‘laughing gas’ and it is inhaled through a facemask to help patients feel relaxed and remove anxiety. This is one of the more common forms of sedation, according to WebMD.
Effective Pain Medication • Intravenous Sedation – this is an injection of a sedative into the arm or hand to control pain and anxiety. This may be used for more involved dental procedures, or for extremely anxious patients. • General Anesthesia – general anesthesia means the patient is put to sleep for the entirety of the dental procedure. Most patients who get general anesthesia have their procedure in a hospital rather than a dentist office. General anesthesia has risks, so it is usually reserved for more complex procedures.
Distraction• If medications aren’t your thing or they don’t agree with you, an alternative-type treatment may work. Sometimes, simple distraction techniques are effective at reducing anxiety when you visit the dentist. Some dentists will give you headphones to watch television, or you could bring your own and listen to music instead.• Taking a little vacation in your own head by imagining that you are on a beach or playing sports or anywhere else can also be an effective technique, if your imagination skills are strong enough.
Acupuncture• Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese treatment for scores of different ailments, and anxiety is on the list. Explain your situation to the acupuncturist and see if he or she can help.
Counseling• In some cases, traditional psychological therapy or counseling can help you overcome your fears and visit the dentist without incident. Counseling will teach you coping strategies and techniques you can use in real life situations. Whatever you learn, practice before you get into the dentist’s chair, so you are well equipped to calm yourself when the time comes.
Counseling• If you’re interested, ask your therapist or counselor if group sessions are available to let you meet and associate with other dental anxiety sufferers. Sometimes, meeting people who have similar issues will help you deal with your own more effectively.
Hypnosis• Hypnosis is a technique often associated with magicians, but many therapists are qualified to do it, and use it regularly with patients. Basically, hypnosis puts you into a relaxed state and opens your mind to the power of suggestion.• Sometimes, hypnosis sessions will result in an anxious patient being able to relax himself enough in the chair to make it through a dental appointment.