Managing Dental Anxiety and Fear
For many Australians, the thought of visiting the dentist can trigger anxiety and fear. This problem can affect children and adults alike, and it usually stems from a negative experience early in life. Visiting the dentist every 6 months as an important part of life, as this will ensure any areas of concern are identified early when treatment is most straightforward. If you experience fear or anxiety around dental visits, it’s important to manage your symptoms so that you can receive the dental care necessary for maintaining good oral health for life. Here’s some helpful tips for making your next dental visit a relaxed and positive one.
Tips for Easing Anxiety and Fear
1. Communication with Your Dentist
Dentists treat a wide range of patients of various ages and backgrounds, and we strive to make your visit a comfortable one. It is important to communicate with your dentist, as this will enable them to tailor a treatment plan that meets your needs. Some ways we can help to ease anxiety include the option of taking breaks during your appointment, or opting for sedation dentistry for more complex dental work.
2. Distract Yourself
It’s a good idea to take your mind off things by bringing a distraction. It could be anything from your favourite headphones so you can listen to music or an audiobook, through to watching a TV programme on your phone or tablet. For children, encourage them to bring along their favourite toy or teddy bear as this will provide some comfort whilst in the chair.
3. Relaxation Techniques
Whilst most people understand that visiting the dentist is an important part of life, anxiety is a common condition and you are certainly not alone. Try practicing some relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and meditation, which will help to ease tensions and put you in a more relaxed state. You can start by practicing at home, so you can walk into the dentists room in a relaxed and comfortable state.
4. Stay Positive
Negative past experiences can be hard to overcome, but positive thinking can go a long way in helping you overcome anxiety and fear. Routine check-ups are a straightforward and easy going process, but even more complex procedures are virtually pain free thanks to the wonders of modern dentistry. Before you know it, you’ll be stepping out of the dentist’s office with a sparkling, healthy smile which you can feel proud about.
5. Familiarize Yourself with the Dentist’s Office
If you’re visiting a new dental clinic for the first time, you might like to take some time to familiarize yourself with the staff and surroundings. You can then ease into some simple procedures such as cleanings or X-rays. This will make it easier when the time comes for more complex procedures, as you will already be familiar with the dentist.
What if I have a case of severe dental anxiety?
In cases of severe dental anxiety, you may wish to try cognitive-behavioural therapy. This can help you to reframe negative thoughts and beliefs about dental procedures, whilst also showing you innovative ways of managing anxiety. When equipped with a professionally guided coping strategy, you will be able to get the dental care necessary to maintain a healthy smile for life.
Sydney Park Dental Accommodate all Patients – Book an Appointment Today
The team at Sydney Park Dental have a wealth of experience in treating patients with dental anxiety. If it has been a while since your last check-up, please don’t hesitate to book an appointment with us today. We’re here to make your visit a comfortable and rewarding one, so that you can smile with confidence all year round.
Contact us today to book an appointment. We look forward to seeing you soon.