Dental anxiety or dental phobia is an overwhelming fear of the dentist. It affects millions of people around the world. If you have dental anxiety or if the thought of going to the dentist makes your palms sweaty and your palms feel clammy, here are a few tips for you.
Choose the right dentist
If you have severe anxiety or fear, it’s a good idea to choose a dentist who offers sedation dentistry. This way, you can feel comfortable throughout the entire visit. Your dentist may also offer several comfort options to help soothe you during your appointment. From topical numbing gel to sunglasses and aromatherapy candles, there are a variety of ways you can feel more at ease during your visit. Your dentist will go to great lengths to make your experience a pleasant one. They’ll want you to be comfortable and relaxed the entire time you’re there.
If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, your first appointment may be overwhelming. You don’t have to do it all in one day; we can break your appointments into smaller, more manageable steps. For example, if you haven’t been to the dentist in a couple of years, your first few appointments might consist of an initial exam, X-rays, and required treatments. We can schedule these as individual appointments that give you a chance to ease into dental care again.
At each subsequent visit, we can focus on one procedure at a time. This helps you become familiar with the sights and sounds of the dental office, so your next visit is easier. You can also ask us questions along the way, and we’ll do our best to answer them in a way that you understand. Once you feel comfortable with each procedure, we’ll move on to the next step until you’re well on your way to a healthy smile.
Establishing trust with a dentist is key to easing dental fear. A dentist who makes patients feel comfortable and at ease during appointments is less likely to induce panic or anxiety in a patient. The best way to establish trust is by communicating with your dentist and talking to them about your anxieties, fears, and concerns. This way, you can work together on finding a solution that works for you. Some patients find it helpful to write down their questions and concerns before they come in for their appointment so they can share their list with their dentist or hygienist during the visit. This helps get everything out in the open so both you and the dentist can move forward together. Communication is a two-way street—while your dental office team might understand what it’s like to have dental anxiety, they might not know your specific triggers or the best ways to help you relax while in the chair. Make sure you talk to your dentist about your fears, so they know what to look out for during your visits and can make recommendations to help you feel more comfortable.
Ask about sedation dentistry
If you have dental fear, it’s important to bring this up with your doctor and request sedation dentistry. Many practices offer different types of sedation dentistry, including nitrous oxide, oral sedation, or IV sedation. Each form of sedation is slightly different, but they’re all designed to relax you before your appointment begins.
Bring a friend
Having someone you trust nearby can help you feel less afraid and more relaxed in the dentist’s chair. Your friend may also be able to drive you home afterward if you’re feeling tired. Some people even doze off during their procedure while having a friend or family member sitting beside them. Ask your dentist if you can have a friend or family member accompany you to your appointment.
Practice relaxation techniques
Relaxation techniques are effective because they help you change your frame of mind and your body’s response to stress. Taking deep breaths can help relax your whole body. Learning a specific breathing technique called diaphragmatic breathing can help you relax as well. Diaphragmatic breathing involves breathing slowly and deeply through the nose. Your abdominal region should expand outward as you inhale and inward as you exhale.
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Pham at Silver Summit Dental by calling us at (801) 542-0998 or visiting our office at 5734 13400 S, Herriman, UT, 84096.
5734 W 13400 S
Herriman, UT, 84096
Silver Summit Dental
5734 W 13400 S
Tel: (801) 542-0998
MON - TUE : 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
WED : 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
THU : 7:00 am - 2:00 pm
FRI : 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
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