Many adults fear the dental chair. Dental phobias can range from mild anxiety to full-blown phobias. Dental phobias can prevent patients from visiting the dentist, which can put their oral health at risk.
Discuss your dental fears with your dentist
Most dentists understand and empathize with patients’ anxiety about their treatments. Your dentist will listen to your concerns and help you feel more at ease in the chair. Questions like how the office handles dental emergencies can also help alleviate fear.
To make sure you’re fully prepared for treatment, ask your dentist what you should expect ahead of time. Knowing what to expect helps ease anxieties about unknown factors. With a better understanding of what will happen during your procedure, you’ll be more mentally prepared for your appointment.
If the thought of having a drill in your mouth makes you cringe, talk to your dentist about how he or she can perform the procedure without using a drill. If your procedure is non-invasive, you may be able to avoid getting a shot with a needle altogether.
Agree on a signal with your dentist
It’s important to let your dentist know how you feel about your treatment. If you are feeling anxious, let them know! We can suggest various methods you can use to let your dentist know how you’re feeling. For example, you can use the “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” gesture to indicate whether you’re ready for the next step or would prefer to take a break from treatment. You can also mention a signal word like “break” to let your dental hygienist know that you need a short break before continuing the treatment. Similarly, you can also let us know if you are feeling overly anxious or have any other concerns. We’ll be happy to make the appropriate accommodations to help you feel more comfortable during your treatment.
Bring distractions to occupy your mind during procedures
You can take a friend or a family member along with you for support during the procedure. Having someone by your side can help you feel less anxious and will assure your dentist that you’re in good hands. You can also bring a book, magazine, or music player to help you remain preoccupied during the procedure. This will put you at ease and help you relax throughout the treatment process.
Consider sedation dentistry
Sedation dentistry can help ease your dental anxiety - making your visit easier and less stressful. There are different levels of sedation that can be used depending on the severity of the anxiety felt by the patient. Talk to your dentist about sedation options and which ones might be right for you. Some types of sedation include oral conscious sedation, nitrous oxide gas, IV sedation, and general anesthesia. Talk to your dentist about which option would be best for you.
To learn more, you can get in touch with us through online consultation or by calling us, and we'll guide you further. Call (516) 336-4902 to book an appointment at our Hicksville office and (516) 756-0111 for the Farmingdale office.