A lot of patients have some pause when it comes to visiting a Lake Worth dentist. The Journal BMC Oral Health mentions that 83.1% of individuals in a study suffered from moderate to severe dental anxiety. These facts aren’t particularly surprising because many Americans don’t like to visit the dentist. Who can blame them? Shiny metal objects near the soft, squishy parts of your body are usually not what you want to experience. Just imagine having to pay for someone to poke and prod your gums and teeth!
While it’s fun to joke about it, the underlying concern about dental anxiety is real. The journal of Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dentistry mentions that dental anxiety can have a severe impact on patients’ dental care routines. Anxiety stems from one’s own fear of the unknown, or fear of being able to control circumstances. The best way to get over dental anxiety is to put things in place to help you come to terms with your experiences. We can’t affect the past, but through the use of a few smart tips, we may be able to help you control your future dental anxiety issues.
1. Honesty is the Best Policy
At Anderson Dental, we’re aware of how critical your dental care is. However, we also know how much anxiety can affect your mental state before a Lake Worth dentist’s visit. One of the best ways to deal with this kind of fear is to discuss it with your dental care provider. Let them know what you’re afraid of and have them talk you through their procedures. During this time, it’s best to call the office and schedule an over-the-phone chat. Search for a dentist you can connect with, and let them know your hesitancy when it comes to dental procedures. You’d be surprised how much being honest helps you deal with the situation.
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for a Break
Dentists work on a schedule, of course. However, many of them see putting your health and comfort above strict timelines. In the middle of a procedure, if you feel your anxiety coming on, you should ask for a break. Don’t be afraid to interrupt your Lake Worth dentist when you think the fear is overtaking you. It’ll help keep your mental state composed and also allow the dentist some time for a breather. The best dentists in Lake Worth will enable you to take breaks to ensure you don’t lose your composure on the chair.
3. Bring a Friend
Part of the trepidation that patients have in going to the dentist is that they have to do it alone. Many kids start seeing a Lake Worth dentist on their own around the age of sixteen, and from that time forward, they rarely go accompanied. However, just because you can see the dentist by yourself doesn’t mean you always want to. Having someone you trust going to visit the dentist with you can help mellow your nerves. The irrational fear that something may happen to you while you’re under sedation fuels this sort of feeling. If you have someone present during your procedure, it may give you the peace of mind you need to keep your appointment.
4. Zone Out the Background Noises
The Guardian mentions that the sound of dental drills and suction instruments could increase patient anxiety. What you can do to manage this is to bring something along to distract yourself. It could be a pair of noise-reducing headphones or some earplugs to drown out the noise from inside the dentist’s office. Additionally, things like focusing on your internal feelings may help to calm you. Some patients have suggested a few minutes of meditation within the waiting room might be just what you need to cope with the looming fear of visiting a Lake Worth dentist.
5. Be In Control of the Situation
You’re the patient, and you have a right to know what’s going on with your healthcare. Always follow up with your dentist if you’re uncomfortable about something. Ideally, your dental practitioner should be informing you of what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. It might help to develop a non-verbal method of communicating with your dentist before you get started. In case you have concerns, you can signal to them that you’d like a break or that something doesn’t feel quite right. Don’t let stress overcome your feelings. The backup communication method ensures that you have a way to tell the dentist about your fears without using your voice.
6. Understand the Tools
Dental tools can be scary. From kids up to adults, everyone has a lot of concern when it comes to dental appliances. Sharp metal things that can be used to prod and poke combined with whirring and sucking instruments are enough to unnerve anyone. However, when you start giving objects names, they become a lot less scary. Calling something an “explorer” rather than a “sharp – tipped something to poke your gums with” makes a difference. Learning the real names of these instruments and how your dentist uses them may help you to be less afraid of them. Knowing the names of these instruments will allow you to discuss things with your dentist in a more knowledgeable manner.
7. Look For Good Dentists Nearby
The dentist you visit should be able to deal with anxious patients, as well. The problem is, not all dentists have a pleasant bedside manner. Asking for recommendations from friends and family might help to put your mind at ease. If the dentist you choose has worked with other members of your family before, you can have some trust in them. Lake Worth Dentists that have you laughing are even better. Nothing beats anxiety like having a good laugh with your dentist. Some dental practices have specialized methods for dealing with dental anxiety and may be worth keeping an eye out for. The choice of a kind, approachable dentist, is as vital as every other step you take when managing your dental anxiety.
8. Keep in Mind that Slow and Steady is Better than None
Anxiety means that you might take a little bit longer to get your dental work done. However, at least being present in the office is a step in the right direction. Dental procedures can take a lot of time, but not doing them can lead to expensive and difficult emergency procedures. Taking the time to take care of your teeth is crucial to keeping them around for as long as possible. Even if you have anxiety and need three or four procedures to do the same thing, a non-anxious patient might get done in one, it’s still far better than never going to the dentist at all.
Your Anxiety Will Affect your Dental Health
Without question, dental anxiety is one of the most prevalent problems in society today. Dentistry is a field that not many people know about, and what people don’t know, they fear. At Anderson Dental Lake Worth, we try to help our anxious patients by focusing our procedures on your needs. Our customer-centric approach seeks to make it easy for you to talk with us and understand the procedures we perform. Do you want to see how it feels to be free of anxiety during a dental visit? Give us a call and schedule an appointment or a consult with our dentist today!