Dealing With Dental Anxiety

Having a dental check-up usually causes anxiety in most people. This anxiety gets worse when one would need to undergo a dental procedure. Most people would get the jitters that would make it difficult to schedule an appointment.

This fear is caused by a lot things. One of them is probably when your parents threatened you about going to the dentist when you were little, such as, “Taking care of your teeth is a must, or else you will have to visit the dentist.” These simple threats could have caused a lifelong negative impression. Another factor is if you had a painful dental procedure done when you were young. These simple things can trigger anxiety in most people.

Here are some things that will help you deal with dental anxiety:

1. Medications

New prescription drugs and products are now endorsed to reduce pain. Gums are numbed for dental procedures. Numbing agents, topical anesthetic, and dental patches are used. These are also now utilized to keep patients comfortable. This is required for injections and deep cleanings.

To relax patients during dental operations, laughing gas or nitrous oxide is used. Intravenous conscious sedation eases discomfort and pain. Medication is given through an IV line placed in the hand or arm.

2. Modernization

Dentists use modern tools that cause less discomfort to patients. Needles used to inject numbing agents are now much thinner. This is better compared to the fatter and larger versions before. Most importantly, needles are now disposable. In the past few decades, dentists had to reuse needles. Though these needles were sterilized, they dull over time. This causes painful dental injections. Enhanced methods and tools also help dentists to shorten the procedure.

3. Distractions

Do not forget to prepare your iPod so you can listen to music while having a dental check-up. Watching videos or TV shows during a procedure helps as well. Some dental offices offer virtual reality glasses to help patients cope with dental anxiety better.

4. Communication

Inform your dentist of things that bother you during check-ups. Let them know what makes you feel comfortable as well. You can also tell them of difficulties you may have had in your past dental visits. Build trust as this will help your dentist know what to do to help you deal with your anxiety.

5. Expert Advice

If you have trouble coping with your dental anxiety, and you think that your anxiety is leading to phobia, you can see a psychologist first.

Direct therapeutic exposure is considered as the best approach when dealing with anxiety. Feared items such as needles are slowly introduced by psychologists.

Never avoid dental check-ups because of fear or anxiety. Always remember that dentists are humans, too. Always believe that your dentist is a person who cares about you. The dentist, more than being your doctor, can also be your friend.