Many patients experience anxiety when visiting the dentist. While this may seem like a circumstance where mind over matter is the solution, it will be far more effective to acknowledge your fear and take actionable steps to get your worry under control. Here are just some of the ways you can relax at your Johns Creek dentist, whether you are undergoing cosmetic dentistry, restorative dentistry, or general dentistry treatments.
Identify your anxiety.
Are you worried about experiencing pain, hearing the dental drill, needing a shot, or being told you need dental work done? Did you have one bad dental experience that has tainted every dental visit since? Do you have a strong gag reflex or dislike the sensation of dental tools or hands in your mouth?
Identifying the root cause of your anxiety and admitting that you have these concerns will help you and your Johns Creek dentist to determine the level of your anxiety and the best course of action to combat it so you can get the important oral health care you need.
Bring your own relaxation aids.
Your dentist will not be offended if you don’t feel like making conversation during your appointment. (Someone’s hands being in your mouth kind of limits chit-chat anyway.) What your dentist wants just as much as you do is a smooth appointment and the ability to tend to your teeth and gums properly and completely.
Bring your ear buds or headphones and music that makes you happy or calm and blocks out any dental-related noises that you don’t like. Plus, music scientifically linked to happiness. If it chills you out, play a game on your phone, or bring along a fidget toy to keep your mind busy.
Schedule appointments thoughtfully.
If you think packing your dental appointment into an already busy day will keep you distracted and rushing through the inevitable and distasteful, think again. Being anxious about the visit will make the rest of your day that much more stressful.
Carve out dedicated time for the dentist so you can be patient during your appointment and learn how to enjoy the process (or at least tolerate it amicably), rather than just suffering through it.
Talk to your Johns Creek dentist.
Your dentist wants to know if you have dental anxiety. Trying to hide it will not be effective. Your tension and stress will be obvious. Your Johns Creek dentist wants to make you as comfortable as possible. Every measure will be taken to help you feel calm and safe. Sedation dentistry is especially helpful for the most anxious patients or for in-depth procedures.
Don’t avoid sharing important oral health concerns or problems. Staying mum will impact you long-term and could lead to the need for more dental visits or interventions in the future. And if you already hate being at the dentist, longer and more involved appointments won’t make you any happier.
Ask questions. Speak up. Express discomfort. Tell your dentist and team whether you want to know exactly what’s going on or would rather not know. Agree on a hand signal if you need the dental work to pause for a moment so you can get your bearings.
The most important thing is to maintain your dental health. If your anxiety is keeping you from visiting the dentist twice a year for cleanings and exams, you’re doing yourself a disservice. It’s also setting you up for oral health problems.
Don’t let anxiety ruin your teeth. Contact your Johns Creek family dentistry practice to discuss your concerns and dental needs. We are here to help you.