If you’re an adult who hasn’t visited the dentist in a while, it’s normal to feel uncomfortable. It’s also not uncommon for an adult to develop dental anxiety, which can inhibit one’s ability to obtain consistent oral care. For all levels of “dentist chair discomfort”, Smile On Dental & Sleep Apnea Center offers some great options for boosting peace of mind before and during an appointment.
What Is Dental Anxiety?
Dental anxiety, also called “dental phobia”, is a general term that can be applied to a broad spectrum of uncomfortable feelings, from mild to severe. There are a variety of things that can trigger dental anxiety: fear of suffocation (due to the mouth being occupied with water, cotton pads, instruments, etc.), local anesthesia that numbs part of the mouth and can produce an unsettling feeling, fear of needles, and perhaps the most common dental anxiety type of all, which is the kind that comes from having to remain in one place for a certain duration and not being able to move when you want, where you want.
Tips For Increasing Your Comfort Level
Our family dentist serving Chicago and Deerfield works with hundreds of patients of all ages and “dentist experience levels”, and over the years we’ve discovered several effective ways that our patients can increase their comfort level before having a seat in the dentist’s chair.
Talking with friends and relatives is a terrific option for decreasing your anxiety prior to your dental appointment. Recommendations from people close to you are hugely beneficial, since they’re coming from folks you trust, and who are likely aware of the unease you feel. Visiting a dentist that your friends and family go to also makes it easier for you to begin developing a rapport with the dentist and his staff – just drop a name or two and let the bonding begin.
Rather than scheduling your appointment in the middle of the workday or during rush hour, pick a time at which you know your stress level will be low. A Saturday afternoon, early in the morning, or whatever time of day will see you walk into our office with little to no external worries.
Bring Some Music
No doubt there are a lot of unusual sounds associated with any dental visit, from the tube that keeps your mouth dry to the scraping noise made by the dentist as he rids the teeth of plaque. These sounds can be unnerving for lots of patients, so feel free to bring your iPod and headphones to your appointment.
Talk About Your Fears
Sometimes, the best way to assuage unease is to tell your dentist and his staff how you’re feeling. It’s likely that you’ll feel better just by getting a few things off your chest, and the dentist can adapt the procedure to your needs. For example, taking an occasional break, developing hand signals for communicating during treatment, or setting the office stereo to your favorite radio station.
Helping You Rest Easy
Since the day we opened our practice, the Smile On Dental & Sleep Apnea Center team has been talking with patients about how to calm nerves before a dentist visit. Take the tips above to heart and contact us today so we can discuss your specific needs.