6 Ways To Overcome Dental Anxiety and Get the Comprehensive Care You Need
Learn how to overcome dental anxiety with these tips.
Though we strive to help our patients feel as comfortable as possible in the dental chair, we recognize that dental anxiety can feel all-consuming. For this reason, we’ve put together a list of some helpful tips on how to overcome dental anxiety. We hope that these tips are not only helpful but can help you look forward to your next visit to our office.
Dental anxiety and dental phobia are quite common. In fact, between 9% and 20% of Americans avoid going to the dentist because their fear or anxiety is all-consuming. And many patients who suffer from dental anxiety aren’t quite sure how to overcome it. Common signs of dental-related fear are as follows:
- Difficulty sleeping the night before a dental appointment
- Feelings of nervousness that increase once you are at the dentist’s office
- Emotions that cause crying or stomach upset at the very idea of going to the dentist
- Uneasiness about the use of dental instruments during treatment
Thankfully, the team at Luminous Smiles uses several strategies to help you feel better. The steps you take and our gentle and kind approach make dental appointments easier to manage. And many of our patients now have the tools to look forward to visits to the dentist!
1. Ask for a consultation before your first appointment.
Sometimes, simply becoming more familiar with the dentist’s office can help reduce the mystery or fear you might feel. And we encourage all of our patients, especially those in need of cosmetic dentistry or restorative dentistry, to consult with us first so we can determine an optimal treatment plan. This not only allows us to talk to you about our approach to dentistry but also allows you to voice any concerns you have. And though you can always ask questions before, during, or after your dental treatment, a consultation is a great way to get those questions addressed ahead of the game.
2. Communicate your fears to us ahead of time.
We encourage our patients to practice open and honest communication with us. The more we know about your dental anxiety and specific needs, the better we can help. So feel free to ask questions, tell us about articles you have read on various treatments, and more. We’ll be sure to listen and address your questions head-on.
3. Ask for accommodations.
We know that not everyone loves dentistry as much as we do. So don’t be afraid to ask for accommodations to make your experience more comfortable. We can provide headphones to let you listen to music, a television monitor so that you can watch a specific television show, and even blankets and pillows to help you feel cozy.
4. Meditate before your appointment.
Meditation is a fast and simple way to reduce stress. So before your appointment, try meditating. The process can help you:
- Gain a new perspective
- Manage stress
- Focus on the present
- Increase your tolerance
- Lower your heart rate and blood pressure
Then when you get to our office, practice some deep breathing exercises to maximize the benefits of your recent meditation. Try inhaling and exhaling through your nose, breathing in for three seconds, then out for three seconds. Repeat five to 10 times (or as long as you need to).
5. Ask us about sedation dentistry.
In extreme cases of dental anxiety, sedation dentistry can be highly effective. Our team offers a wide range of numbing and sedation options for patients needing extra help at the dentist. From numbing gel to oral medication to intravenous (IV) options, we have the perfect choice for your needs. Ask us about sedation dentistry at your consultation.
6. Find the right dentist for you.
The truth is that not all dentists are the same. Look for a dentist who offers the relationship-building and personal care you deserve. At Luminous Smiles, we provide outstanding excellence, knowledge, skill, and accreditations. Not only that, but Dr. Desai is the only female American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry–accredited doctor in Newport Beach. And that’s something we’re pretty proud of. We’re confident that we’re the right Newport Beach dentist for you.
Still need help overcoming dental anxiety?
We use modern dental technology, including advanced digital X-rays for crystal-clear imaging and comprehensive software that gives us a complete understanding of your dental health. This technology makes your appointment quicker and more comfortable. We don’t want your oral or mental health to suffer due to dental anxiety. Request an appointment with Luminous Smiles today, and we’ll partner with you to create a stress-free dental experience.