Ways to Manage Dental Anxiety Before An Appointment

February 7, 2022 - By Bruce Michaelson
Ways to Manage Dental Anxiety Before An Appointment

Is fear of the dental chair stopping you from scheduling your dentist appointment? You’re not alone. Dental anxiety is a very common condition that both children and adults experience. While it can be tricky to condition your mind to relax before a check-up, it’s completely possible to overcome this issue. Here, we’ve rounded up the best advice to manage dental anxiety before your doctor’s visit.

  • Communicate your worries openly.

Seasoned dentists are experts in dealing with anxious patients. Don’t feel ashamed about expressing your worries beforehand so they can share valuable tips or tailor your dental treatment according to your needs. Through open and honest communication, your dental team can take time and provide a comprehensive discussion about all the aspects of your treatment. Use this time to ask all the necessary questions to keep yourself informed, therefore more in control. 

  • Bring a trusted companion.

A calm and reassuring presence can go long ways in helping cope with anxiety before a dental appointment. Whether it’s a spouse, another family member, or a friend, a person who knows the patient well would know how to properly listen and interact during stressful situations. In cases where sedatives are required for the procedures, companions will be able to assist patients in reaching home safely as well.

  • Make sure to get enough rest before your appointment.

An insufficient amount of sleep is commonly linked to feelings of anxiety. To help reduce the stress and tension the night before your appointment, make sure to get a good rest. Keep your naps short through the day and try to reduce your caffeine intake. Practice early lights off so you can get your body in the right sleeping condition. If you plan to take pain-relief medication, make sure to discuss it with your dentist before the appointment to ensure that it won’t cause a negative reaction to your anesthesia. 

  • Practice proper breathing techniques.

Many individuals who suffer from dental anxiety stand by breathing techniques as helpful ways to slow down their heart rate and release tension in the muscles. An example of an effective technique is the 4-7-8 breathing. Start this technique by sitting down with your back straight. Then, keep the tip of your tongue behind your upper front teeth for the entire breathing exercise. Exhale through your mouth and close it afterwards. Inhale through your nose for four seconds, hold for seven, and then exhale completely to a count of eight. 

  • Find a safe distraction.

Talk with your dentist to see if bringing gadgets is allowed before your treatment. Watching a movie or listening to music can help avert your attention from the procedure, lessening feelings of anxiety. If electronics are not allowed, put all your focus on your breathing patterns. Try to keep it as steady and consistent to reduce feelings of anxiety. Another trick is to keep your hands occupied. Bring a stress ball or a small fidget toy as a distraction.

It’s completely normal to experience worries before any doctor’s appointment. Your dentists are experienced in handling and empathizing with individuals that suffer from the same issue, so don’t feel ashamed in voicing out your thoughts. Book a consultation with experts to receive the exceptional care and worry-free treatment to make your smile a beautiful and painless one.

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