A large number of people with dental issues are postponing or avoiding their treatment altogether because of their strong anxiety related to the dental treatment. Fear of the dentist is one of the most common phobias, and professionals in the industry have been trying to work around this problem for decades.
Nowadays, dental treatments are less invasive than before, pain is managed more effectively and there are plenty of safe sedation options. Sedation dentistry gives access to treatment for patients with anxiety, mental or physical disability, children, and the elderly.
However, in some cases, sedation is not an option, or patients want to go with a milder form of sedation for their intervention. In these cases, learning a few relaxation techniques can be extremely helpful. Here are 5 tips from a sedation dentist who will teach us how to stay cool during dental treatment.
Breathing helps more than you think, especially if you practice some deep breathing techniques. Breathing steady and slowly and focusing on breathing “from your belly” can alleviate anxiety symptoms and get your mind out of the “fight or flight” response mechanism.
Mindfulness means being aware of your sensations in the present and trying to avoid lingering thoughts about the past or future. Anxiety has a lot to do with how you perceive past experiences and the scenarios you create in your mind in the anticipation of a triggering event.
Mindfulness will help you stay in the moment and control your response. Acknowledge everything you can see, smell, touch and hear in the cabinet, and focus on the sensations alone.
Knowing what’s about to happen is very helpful in controlling anxiety when getting medical care. Doctors, besides being highly trained, have good people skills and they usually know how to soothe their patients. If you are unsure about anything and your doctor did not mention it already, don’t hesitate to ask any questions.
Listen to Music
Music can be therapeutic, and it’s often used in dentist cabinets to calm down the patients. You can ask if you can use headphones and listen to your favorite music while you are receiving treatment.
Ask for Breaks
Something as simple as requesting a break when you feel overwhelmed can be very helpful when you are receiving medical treatment. Be sure to let your dentist know that you have anxiety issues before your appointment to give them a chance to reserve more time for you.
St. Louis Sedation Dentist
Trying these techniques can do wonders next time you’re in the dentist’s chair, and it’s worth giving them a shot, as any relief, as small as it may be, will help you get the dental care you need.
Talk to your dentist about all the options you have for overcoming the anxiety and pick a dental office where your anxiety is taken seriously.
If you live in the St. Louis region give us a call at (314) 862-7844 to learn more!