Going to the dentist can be nerve-wracking for a lot of people. It is a widespread problem that keeps patients from making and keeping their regularly scheduled appointments. Keeping up with your annual or biannual dental appointments is essential for preventative measures and having a good oral health routine.
For many people, the thought of a dental procedure can cause significant anxiety, which may cause them to put off getting dental work done. Patients with dental anxiety may choose to use dental sedation in order to ease their worries and relax. There are a few kinds of dental sedation, including an oral form and nitrous oxide.
Sedation Dentistry Options
Oral sedation can be in the form of a pill that is taken at home before coming into the office in order to reduce anxiety prior to treatment. Nitrous oxide is also known as “laughing gas” and is administered in the office. Where oral sedation can have lingering effects for hours after consumption, nitrous oxide wears off almost immediately.
Even using dental sedation at all can make some patients uneasy. While sedation dentistry is completely safe, it is okay to be nervous. There are other options or methods that you can use to ease your anxiety.
Other Methods to Stay Calm at the Dentist’s Office
One thing that you can do to help your anxiety is to bring a friend or a trusted person with you to your appointment. Not only can your person be a calming influence, they can also distract you during your procedure. If it will lessen your anxiety, your person can read you a book, tell you stories, or even relay news stories from a newspaper or social media. If they tell you jokes, hopefully they won’t make you laugh enough to disrupt your procedure.
You Can Try Auditory Distractions
If you choose not to bring someone with you to your appointment, you could listen to music, a podcast, or an audiobook to keep your thoughts off your dental procedure. Wearing earbuds or headphones generally won’t get in the way of your dental appointment, so feel free to listen to a captivating story or your favorite artist during your teeth cleaning.
Mediation and Breathing May Help
Another way to reduce your anxiety is to try breathing exercises. You can calm your nerves through several different proven methods. Taking slow deep breaths in through your nose and exhaling out through your mouth is one way to relax. You can also look into meditation to get your head into a less anxious state.
Talk to Your Dentist
Above all, talk to your dentist about any anxiety you have about your procedures or appointments. They can talk you through the process, and it may help you with your anxiety. Sometimes, the fear we have of the dentist is the fear of the unknown or the fear of pain.
If your dentist is aware of this, they should be able to walk you through the process and let you know what to expect. They may be able to tell you that you won’t experience any pain, or they can give you pain preventatives.