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Tips For Easing Dental Anxiety

Posted by Kusek Family & Implant Dentistry Feb 07, 2023

Dental anxiety is a fear of the dentist or dental procedures. Dental anxiety can affect people of all ages but is more common in children. According to one study, about 75% of people experience some dental anxiety. However, most people can get through dental procedures with minimal discomfort with the help of their dentist. Here are a few tips. 

Choose The Right Dentist

Whether you have anxiety about going to the dentist or a loved one is nervous about visiting, taking the time to choose the right dentist for your needs and situation can be the first step to helping you feel comfortable at the dentist’s office.

There are thousands of dentists practicing in the United States, but not all of them will be a good fit for you. If you are nervous, make sure to choose a dentist who will put you at ease during your visits. Some ways you can do this include:

  • Ask friends, family, and colleagues for recommendations. If someone you know has had a good experience with a dentist in your area, consider calling their office and scheduling an appointment for yourself.
  • Schedule a consultation to get to know the dentist and their office before committing to an appointment. During the consultation, be sure to ask any questions you may have about the office, including how comfortable they will make you feel and how payments are handled.
  • At your consultation, schedule a general cleaning and exam to address any current issues you have with your teeth. If you are already having a problem with your teeth, it may be best to schedule another appointment with a different dentist who is more equipped to help you with your particular issue.
  • Once you find a dentist that makes you feel comfortable, commit to regular appointments every six months, as recommended by The American Dental Association. By keeping up with regular cleanings and exams, you can prevent serious dental problems from occurring and keep your teeth healthy for years to come.

If you are looking for an experienced and friendly dentist who can put you at ease during your appointments, contact our office today to schedule your initial consultation. We are happy to answer any questions you may have and make sure your appointment is as comfortable as possible.

Honesty Is Key

Being honest about your fears and anxiety is incredibly important! The dentist and staff will do their best to help you feel calm and relaxed, but it’s a two-way street. Tell us what triggers your anxiety and what makes you feel most comfortable. We can take it from there!

Your comfort and relaxation are our top priorities. We care about our patients and want them to have a positive dental experience every time they visit us. Give us a call to set up an appointment or consultation today. We can’t wait to see you soon!

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions

If you’re nervous, there’s a good chance you’ll have questions for your provider. Don’t be afraid to ask those questions. In fact, you should ask questions about anything that makes you uncomfortable. The more you know about what to expect during a procedure, the more comfortable you’ll be about it.

Avoid Caffeine And Other Stimulants

While avoiding coffee, soda, tea, and energy drinks is a good strategy for managing anxiety during any medical procedure, it is especially important that patients avoid these substances before a restorative dentistry treatment. This is because consuming stimulants can increase heart rate and blood pressure, which could increase your risk for complications during treatment. Likewise, if you are taking certain medications or regularly consume alcohol, you should stay away from these kinds of beverages the day before your procedure as well.

It is also a good idea to drink plenty of water on the day of your dental appointment in order to stay hydrated. Because anesthesia is used during a restorative procedure, it is important for you to remain hydrated in order to prevent nausea and other unpleasant side effects following the procedure. Drinking water can also help you maintain clear breath throughout the day!

Bring A Distraction

For some patients, being at the dentist’s can be so stressful that they’d rather stay home than go in for an appointment. That can make the situation worse – every time you skip an appointment, you increase the chances that you may need a procedure that you don’t want to have done. Instead, bring a smartphone or tablet with you to watch your favorite show or listen to some music while you’re in the waiting room. This helps to take your mind off of your treatment so that you can relax before you go back for your procedure. 

Practice Relaxation Techniques

Another thing to do when you’re trying to overcome dental anxiety is to practice relaxation techniques. You can practice meditation, breathing, or other calming exercises that will help you feel calmer. Ask your doctor or dentist for recommendations on the best techniques to practice in the days leading up to your appointment.

Learn About Sedation Dentistry

Currently, there are different ways to receive sedation during a dental procedure. One option is nitrous oxide, which is inhaled through a mask or nasal inhaler. Another option is oral conscious sedation. This involves taking a small pill an hour before the procedure. Your dentist will closely monitor you throughout your treatment to ensure you aren’t feeling too much pain, and you won’t remember anything about the procedure until after the fact.

At Kusek Family & Implant Dentistry, we offer a full range of services in a relaxed dental environment. To learn more about our dental services or to schedule your consultation with one of our dentists, call us at 605-371-3443 or visit us at 4921 E. 26th St., Suite 1, Sioux Falls, SD 57110. 

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