Hundreds of adults suffer from dental anxiety which prevents them from visiting their dentist. This type of fear can cause people to avoid the dental clinic for prolonged periods, and as a result, do not get the immediate diagnosis, preventative and urgent care they need to maintain a healthy and beautiful smile.
Northview Dental of Kokomo says that if severe fear is also holding you back from seeing Dr. Kiesel for a regular checkup or even an urgent one, you can follow these tips for overcoming dental anxiety:
Know your fears
The first step in facing your intense fear of the dentist is to identify which parts of the whole visit make you nervous. Are you worried about experiencing pain? Do the various dental tools you see make you feel anxious? Make a list of all of these so that you can go through these with Dr. Kiesel before or during your first appointment.
Look for a dentist you can trust
Most of the time, dental anxiety begins after having a bad experience with a specific dentist. Finding a new one is a good start to overcoming your fear. Go online to look for dentists with great reputations and ask for recommendations as well. Call them up or, if you can, visit them at their clinic. Talk to them and assess your level of comfort while you’re in their clinic. Choose a dentist that you feel truly at ease with so that you will have an easier time relaxing during your next visit.
Discuss your fears and create a strategy with your chosen dentist
Once you’ve selected, Dr. Kiesel, talk to him or her about the fears you’ve listed. Next, work with your dentist to create a strategy on how you can manage your dental anxiety. Your dentist will help you devise strategies to mitigate your dental anxiety not just for your next visit, but over the long-term as well.
Some of these techniques you and Dr. Kiesel can include are:
- Relaxation techniques
- Visualization techniques
- Listening to music
- Sedation options
Have someone accompany you during dental appointments
Even if you already have a list of strategies for coping with your anxiety, bringing someone with you on your dental appointment can give you additional support and assurance. This will help you feel calmer, especially if you will be undergoing a long procedure. However, make sure you choose a loved one or friend who isn’t afraid of dentists so that your fears won’t be aggravated.
Promise yourself a reward
Lastly, having an incentive to look forward to after your appointment will help you relax and give you something positive to think about while you’re undergoing a procedure. Think about eating a pint of ice cream or going shopping after your treatment and do this after leaving the clinic or a few days after. It’s a great way to find the motivation you need to finally spend a few hours at a dental clinic.
Learn more tips on our blog.