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Tips to Get Over Dental Anxiety

Tips to Get Over Dental Anxiety

It is common to have some anxiety when visiting the dentist, but for some people, the anxiety is so severe that it prevents them from going at all. Each person experiences their anxiety differently, making it hard to regulate the way that you feel. It is important to understand your dental anxiety and find ways to cope so you can get regular dental cleanings and work done to ensure your oral hygiene is in its best shape. 

Do You Have Dental Anxiety? 

Anxiety is different per person, making each experience unique. If you are unsure if you have dental anxiety, here are a few common symptoms you may experience. 

  • Sweating 
  • Fast heartbeat 
  • Low blood pressure 
  • Fainting 
  • Visible distress (crying, hyperventilating, signs of panic)
  • Consistent use of humor or aggression to mask anxiety 

If you are experiencing all or some of these symptoms, you may have dental anxiety. Some people may also avoid going to the dentist by “forgetting” about the appointment. 

Causes of Dental Anxiety

There are a lot of reasons why you may be experiencing dental anxiety or fear. Just like general anxiety, there may have been something in the past that caused you to feel the way you do in the present day. Some events that can cause this can be:

  • A traumatic dental experience 
  • Previous trauma to the head or neck 
  • General anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues 
  • Fear of loss of control 
  • Trust issues
  • Fear of needles 
  • Claustrophobia, agoraphobia, OCD

There may be other reasons that cause you to feel anxiety during a dental visit, but these are just a few examples that may cause you to feel the way that you do. 

Managing Your Anxiety

When it comes to managing your anxiety, there are a few ways that you can go about it. 

Before Your Appointment 

Research/ Talk to Your Dentist: Talk to your dentist about the procedure(s) you will get. Learning about the steps they take and what to expect can ease the stress of not knowing what will happen. It is also a great opportunity to build trust between you and your dentist during this time. 

During Your Appointment 

Before You Leave Your Car: Before leaving your car, take a few minutes to meditate and take deep breaths. Deep breathing allows more oxygen into the body, which can help remedy dizziness and lightheadedness. It can also promote muscle relaxation, which can often tense up when feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Taking deep breaths during any time of your appointment can aid you in feeling a little better. 

In the Office: Once you are in the office, continue to take deep breaths and calm yourself down. One way to calm yourself down is to distract yourself by scrolling through your phone, watching TV, or reading a book. Finding a way to take your mind off what you are currently feeling is a great way to reduce your anxiety. 

During the Procedure: Before they start working, come up with a way for your dentist to notify them when you are feeling uncomfortable. One way you can notify them is by raising your hand. This way, they can stop, so you can take a break. Remember to keep breathing and try to think of something else by watching TV, listening to music, or a podcast.

After the Procedure: Give yourself a pat on the back! It’s not easy to experience a situation with a lot of anxiety, so take the time to reward yourself by getting your favorite food or dessert later that day (make sure to double-check with your dentist when you can eat/drink next). 

Calm and Understanding Dental Offices

Going to the dentist can be very stressful and overwhelming, which is why it is so important to find a dentist who cares about your feelings. At Southpoint Quality Dental, we put you first! We aim to treat each one of our patients like a member of our family and do all that we can to make you feel comfortable.

Office Closure

Happy Memorial Day From Southpoint Quality Dental!

Our offices will be closed from May 24th to the 28th for memorial day.
We will be open as normal on Wednesday the 29th. Have a great weekend!