Do you feel a frisson of fear every time you think about sitting in the dentist’s chair? You aren’t alone. In fact, an astounding 36% of people experience some degree of dental anxiety. Even those of us who wouldn’t necessarily associate with a dental phobia usually feel a bit on edge when we know we have a dental appointment on the horizon for a wide range of reasons, including –
- Fear of pain/shots that don’t work
- Panic at the sound of dental equipment (drills, suction, etc.)
- Shame/embarrassment about dental health
- Bad past experiences
Unfortunately, an avoidance of the dentist leaves you wide open to issues that include –
- Periodontal disease
- Bad teeth
- Tooth loss
- And more
Not to mention that the more you avoid the dentist, the more risk there is that you’ll need to undergo intensive procedures!
10 tips for relaxing in the dentist’s chair
It’s plain to see that something needs to change. Luckily, we have some fantastic pointers to help you relax. So sit back, take a deep breath, and keep reading to find out how you can feel comfortable in the dentist’s chair at last.
# 1 – Take the time to find the right dentist
There are now plenty of fantastic dental options for nervous patients, with countless professionals offering everything from a gentle approach to sedation dentistry. By taking your time to find a solution that suits you, you’re guaranteed to feel a lot more settled and in control.
# 2 – Visit the same dentist each time
By booking in with the same dentist for every appointment, you’ll know exactly who you’re seeing, and the quality of care you can expect every single time, thus eliminating a great deal of your worries straight away.
# 3 – Bring a friend
Bringing a friend to wait for you in the lobby can be a huge comfort. If you’re especially nervous about a procedure, your friend could even come along and hold your hand, chatting to you throughout to make sure that you stay smiling.
# 4 – Always ask questions
Not knowing exactly what’s happening or what it entails can make dental phobia much worse. Avoid these feelings of uncertainty by always asking questions if you’re uncertain, both before a procedure and during.
# 5 – Dedicate the right appointment times
Always book appointments on days where you can dedicate yourself to this alone, avoiding time restraints that are guaranteed to stress you further.
# 6 – Time your arrival wisely
Arriving late to an appointment is only going to leave you more stressed, so try to arrive in plenty of time, though not so early that your anxiety has a chance to grow. Around five or ten minutes before your appointment is ideal.
# 7 – Arm yourself with coping techniques
It’s always worth brining coping techniques like deep breathing along to appointments with you. Before your arrival, look into easy breathing exercises, and practice these in a relaxing environment so that you can return to them when you need to.
# 8 – Don’t be afraid to use distractions
Dental sounds can be a significant source of fear, so it pays to use distractions. Talk to your dentist about using your own playlist or watching something to help block any sounds and keep your mind busy.
# 9 – Agree on hand signals
Before any procedures, agree on some hand signals with your dentist. Even just an agreement that your dentist will stop when you hold your hand up can be a huge relief, ensuring that you stay in control, and a lot calmer as a result.
# 10 – Always take breaks
Long dental procedures are especially daunting, but you don’t need to tackle a huge chunk of treatment without pause. Instead, use those agreed on hand signals to let your dentist know when you need a breather.
Worcester Quality Dental can help you relax
Here at Worcester Quality Dental, we understand how awful dental anxiety can be, and we take every measure to help you feel calmer. Every single member of our expert team is on hand to answer any questions you have at any stage of your treatment plan. What’s more, we’ve worked hard to create a stress-free, home-style environment, alongside cutting-edge technology which largely eliminates that dreaded dentist drilling sound.
To see what we can do to help you stay calm and relaxed at every appointment, don’t hesitate to contact us 24/7 at (508) 754-0918 or schedule an appointment online today.