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Are you afraid of seeing the dentist? Well, you are not alone. Dental phobia is a real thing and is affects several Americans. However, it is possible to overcome dental phobia and keep all your dental appointments for good oral and dental health.
Unlike other phobias that do not require much attention, dental phobia requires immediate attention because good oral hygiene is vital to your health.
Causes of Dental Anxiety
Several reasons can cause dental terror. Some of these causes include:
- A painful dental procedure when you were young
- Panic because of the sound of the drill
- Fear of pain
- Embarrassment due to a cavity, bad breath, or poor dental hygiene
- Fear of needles or shots
Regardless of the root cause of your anxiety, it is critical that you get offer it because good oral health is vital to your general well-being.
How to Manage Dental Anxiety
If you fear going to the dentist and you have been scheduled for oral surgery, here are a few tips that will help you manage the anxiety.
- Know Your Surgeon
You will be more at ease about the surgery if you are familiar with your surgeon. It may be a good idea to take some time to meet up with them, talk to them, and learn more about their personalities. Though oral or maxillofacial surgeons are highly trained professionals who will handle you with extreme care, you will relax when you see and know that you will be under the care of one.
- Speak Up
Do not be afraid to talk to your doctor about your anxiety. Talking to your surgeon and sharing your feelings with them will make a lot of difference. Once you get your concerns off your chest, your dentist and their team will know how to treat and handle you.
During your appointment, allow your dentist to explain the procedure and ask all the questions that you have. You will be more comfortable during the surgery when you know what the procedure entails. You can also come up with hand signals that you can use to alert the dentist of any issues during the procedure.
Get to know how the anesthesia will work if you are afraid of pain and your options. Do not be afraid to let your dentist know if you feel pain during the procedure, even if you are under anesthesia.
- Use Some Mindfulness Techniques
Several techniques can help you relax your mind before the surgery. Techniques like counting your breaths as you wait for the appointment, relaxing your muscles and body while in the chair will help you be more at ease.
It is also crucial that you watch what you eat and avoid taking any alcoholic or intoxicating substances before the surgery. Such substances are psychoactive and can only make more nervous.
- Try to Distract Yourself
It may be a good idea to try taking your mind off the procedure. To distract yourself, you can:
- Focus on your breathing
- Get headphones and listen to some music or an audiobook. This will also mask the sound of the drill
- Imagine being in your happy place or a relaxing environment such as a beach or Zen garden
- Occupy your hands using a fidget spinner or stress ball
It would help if you also tried to schedule the procedure during a low-stress time
These tips will help you stay calm and be less anxious when you visit your dentist. Remember, your dentist and dental team will handle you better if they are aware of your fears. Regardless of the cause of your anxiety, the right dentist will help you throughout the process and take care of your dental and emotional health.