If you suffer from dental anxiety or become really fearful when it's time for your dental appointment, know that you are not alone. There are many people who find it difficult to relax when they know they have to face their dentist in a few hours. However you do not have to live with this fear and there are things you can do to calm your nerves and prepare for the dental appointment. To help ease your anxiety, here are 4 ways to keep your nervousness under control before the dentist.
1. Familiarise Yourself With The Team
Getting acquainted with the dental clinic staff, including your dentist, can help to put your mind at ease, especially if it's a first time getting a dental procedure. Make time for a casual visit and have a quick chat not only with your dentist but with the team. It's important that you let them know that dental appointments make you nervous or uncomfortable, as they will be able to treat you in a way that makes you more comfortable and help ease you into the procedure.
2. Focus On Distractions
Some dental clinics not only have movies being played at the clinic but also play soothing music to help their patients relax and focus their attention away from the dental appointment. It can also be a good idea to bring your own music that you find relaxing into the waiting room before the treatment to keep the nerves down. You may also want to bring a book or anything that will take your mind off the upcoming dental appointment.
3. Practise Deep Breathing
You can use deep breathing techniques originating from the practise of meditation and yoga to help you stay calm. Perhaps the dental staff can even talk you through this as you wait for your turn in the dental chair. Deep breathing is quite easy, one common technique is the 4-7-8 exercise.
- Position the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue behind your upper front teeth throughout the exercise.
- Exhale completely through your mouth ( you'll be making a whoosh sound)
- Close your mouth and breathe in quietly through your nose. Count to 4 mentally.
- Hold your breath as you count from 1 to 7
- Breathe out completely through your mouth. Again making the whoosh sound as you count from 1 to 8. Repeat these steps until you feel relaxed.
4. Consider Dental Sedation
If your dental anxiety is quite severe and you need to undergo a lengthy procedure or one that you're uncomfortable with, you may choose to have conscious sedation or sleep dentistry. You can read more about Sleep Dentistry and the types we offer on our page here. Whichever type of sedation you choose, you'll be very relaxed during the procedure and with sleep dentistry- you won't even remember having the procedure done a you will be completely asleep.
If you are interested in Sleep Dentistry or would like to know more about it, please contact us at 1300 A SLEEP or fill out our contact form.