5 Ways To Overcome Dental Anxiety and Get the Restorative Care You Need
Alleviating Dental-Related Anxiety
Restorative dentistry can help improve your confidence, allow you to eat and speak naturally, and ensure your long-term oral health. However, some patients may experience dental anxiety about these types of procedures, leading them to avoid care that would significantly improve their quality of life.
Every situation is unique, so if you’re experiencing damaged, decayed, or missing teeth, you may benefit from several different types of procedures. Fillings and onlays are some of the most basic restorative treatments, and more advanced cases might require crowns, bridges, dental implants, or dentures.
You don’t have to let dental anxiety stop you from taking advantage of the benefits that come with restoring the form and function of your teeth. You can enjoy a full smile and long-term oral health by following these 5 tips to overcome dental anxiety and get the care you need.
1. Realize you’re not alone.
If you’re experiencing dental anxiety, you’re far from being alone. In fact, 36% of adults in the U.S. have a fear of dental treatment, and 12% have an extreme fear that can interfere with their ability to receive treatment. Dental anxiety is a widespread issue that dentists understand and expect to encounter in their practices.
Try to keep in mind that your dentist and their team will do everything they can to accommodate and welcome you.
They strive to provide compassionate care and will take the restorative treatment you require very seriously. They want to help you in every way they can, and that includes providing a patient experience that accounts for your dental anxiety.
2. Ask about accommodations.
Make sure to let your dentist know about your dental anxiety or any apprehension you have about treatment ahead of time.
In many cases, your dentist can make accommodations to help you through the process. This could include scheduling your appointment at a time when their office is less busy or measures such as sedation dentistry.
Make sure to ask about the treatment process too. Your dentist will be able to discuss what to expect during your appointment in detail, which can help alleviate your anxiety.
They can walk you through the stages involved in basic procedures such as fillings and onlays. Your dentist can also provide a clear map of the overall treatment plan for crowns, bridges, and dental implants so that you understand every step ahead of time.
3. Try anxiety-reducing techniques.
Individuals who experience dental anxiety can benefit from a wide range of techniques to reduce that anxiety. The American Dental Association recommends several specific tips that can alleviate anxiety ahead of and during your next visit, such as:
- Practicing mindfulness through breathing exercises or meditation techniques
- Taking a break during a procedure, if possible
- Ensuring that the dentist you choose fosters a calm and relaxing environment
- Going to the same dentist for all of your needs so the environment is familiar
- Keeping in mind that dental anxiety is common, and your dentist will empathize
Implementing these anxiety-reducing techniques can make a significant difference in how you handle your anxiety.
4. Bring some support.
In many cases, bringing a family member or friend along can help you feel much more at ease during your visit. Having accompaniment at the office ahead of any appointment can help, and you can ask your dentist about them being present during the treatment process itself.
5. Consider sedation dentistry.
Patients experience dental anxiety at different levels. For some, it makes dental visits mildly unpleasant, and in others, it makes even the thought of treatment unbearable. Sedation dentistry provides several options to calm patients with various levels of anxiety.
Most restorative treatments already include the use of local anesthetic that numbs the area being worked on. This prevents pain but doesn’t help with anxiety. Nitrous oxide, often called “laughing gas,” is a simple form of sedation that can keep patients fully calm and relaxed during a procedure.
Other types of sedation are available as well. For example, your dentist can prescribe a pill for oral sedation, which provides a deeper calm. IV sedation uses an IV drip during treatment, providing deep sedation where many patients don’t recall their treatment. General anesthesia is also an option in cases of severe anxiety or lengthy procedures.
Enjoy the benefits of restorative dentistry in Texas.
If you’re concerned about your oral health and are experiencing dental anxiety about treatment you may need, Tomasik Family Dental is here to help you through every step of the process.
We can develop a treatment plan that works for you, and we offer options like sedation dentistry when needed. To schedule an evaluation and learn how we can meet your individual needs, contact our office in Bee Cave today.