“So, I’m having tooth pain and I need to go to the dentist…” These are words that so many people dread. Fear is a natural emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous and is likely to cause pain or a threat. Whether due to a bad childhood experience or a more recent traumatic dental visit, there is a large portion of people who are apprehensive about going to the dentist. Some people may feel a bit nervous before dental treatment and that’s OK. Unfortunately, there are also those who are crippled with fear, even to the point of losing sleep the night before an appointment. These people may have dental anxiety and typically only go to the dentist when forced by extreme pain.
Here are a few tips to help ease some of your dental fears:
1) Talk about your fears and concerns with your dentist before starting any treatment. Most doctors allow consultations to discuss what is needed before making a treatment plan.
2) Establish a signal, like raising your hand when you want your dentist to stop right away. You should use your signal any time you need a break.
3) Listen to music during your treatment. The music can help drown out the sound of the dental equipment while bringing you comfort.
4) Breathe regularly and slowly during treatment. People will sometimes hold their breath when nervous but the decrease in oxygen causes an increase in feelings of panic.