overcoming dental anxiety

A How-To Guide on Overcoming Dental Anxiety

Dr Devine Sedation Dentistry

overcoming dental anxietyServing Brentwood, Belle Meade and Green Hills Areas of Nashville TN

Dental anxiety can create feelings that keep patients from visiting the dentist. Unfortunately, avoiding the dentist is not recommended for your teeth or overall health. Therefore, our Nashville sedation dentists at Devine Dentistry share a how-to guide on overcoming dental anxiety so that you can get the care you need. After following the advice below, if you still have dental anxiety, the caring team at Devine Dentistry can discuss sedation dentistry with you to keep you calm while protecting your health.

Why do people fear or have anxiety about the dentist?

People have fear or anxiety over a dental appointment for several reasons. From the sights, sounds, and smells, to a possible prior lousy experience can cause panic inside patients who suffer from dental anxiety. Some patients fear feeling any pain or discomfort. Fortunately, the compassionate Belle Meade dentists understand how an anxious patient may react and how to help you relax.

How do I overcome dental anxiety?

An essential step in working through your dental anxiety is to admit that there is a problem that prevents you from receiving proper oral care. Once you realize your fear or anxiety, let your Green Hills dentists know so that we can serve you better.

  1. Research or Contact a Recommended Dentist

Friends and family can provide recommendations for a professional, caring dentist that offers dental sedation for patients with fear or anxiety. Review the dentist’s website to find out more about their work and schedule a consultation with the dentist.

  1. Be Honest About Your Fears and Anxieties

The caring dental team in Nashville at Devine Dentistry wants to help you protect your teeth and mouth. Therefore, be as open and honest about your fears, anxieties, and concerns as possible, so we can develop a plan to keep you comfortable.

  1. Get Educated About the Dental Tools

Ask your dentist about how the tools work to protect your teeth and gums. Request to hold the tools so that you can get the feel of them. Sometimes familiarizing yourself with the devices can reduce your anxiety about having them in your mouth.

  1. Be Sure to Maintain Control

Feel free to ask your dentist questions about the procedure and how it will feel. You may also want to establish a nonverbal sign to indicate when you are uncomfortable or something is wrong. Avoid pushing yourself through a stressful situation because it could increase your dental anxieties.

  1. Take Breaks During the Procedure

Most quality Green Hills sedation dentists will take their time to ensure the patient’s best results, whether spending additional time on a crown or taking frequent breaks to reduce tension. Use your nonverbal sign, and the dentist will pause for a short break.

  1. Bring a Supportive Person With You

Ideally, bring a trusted individual with you to provide support during your appointment. However, with recent COVID concerns, this individual will have to wait at the door or in the car during your appointment.

  1. Take Precautions to Reduce Discomfort

The dental chair can seem scary or uncomfortable for some patients. If you prefer to be seated, communicate that to your professional Belle Meade family dentist. If you have a strong gag reflex or fear choking, you could be concerned about traditional bitewing x-rays. Instead, opt for non-invasive panoramic x-rays. Speak openly about your concerns and work with your dentist towards a solution.

  1. Distract Yourself

Some patients find it helpful to wear earplugs or play music through noise-canceling headphones. Most dental offices also offer a TV to help you feel more comfortable.

  1. Try Relaxation Techniques

Controlled breathing, prayer, meditation, or visualizations can help you relax before, during, and after your appointment. So, please take a deep breath, hold it for a few seconds, and then exhale slowly. By repeating the process, you slow your heart rate, which helps your body relax.

  1. Pay Attention to Your Dentist’s Demeanor

Dentists are humans and may experience “off” days. However, ensure you have a positive relationship with your dentist to help you overcome your fears. If the dental team does not respect your needs, find a new friendly Nashville dentist who will help work through your anxiety.

  1. Any Progress is Better Than None

Although it may seem like you can get through the cleaning of only one tooth at a time, remember you made progress. No matter how slow you need to go, the Green Hills compassionate dental team at Devine Dentistry will work with you.

  1. Take Good Care of Your Teeth

Maintaining a regular oral health care regimen can reduce problems and the need for more advanced and expensive treatments. Make sure to brush your teeth twice daily and floss once daily for optimum results.

Dental Sedation in Belle Meade, Green Hills, and Nashville, TN

Feelings of fear and anxiety regarding the dentist are real. Working through those emotions for good oral health can help you avoid advanced conditions that could be painful or expensive to correct. If you struggle with dental anxiety, find out what questions to ask your sedation dentists in Nashville, or see if you’re a candidate for nitrous oxide or  IV dental sedation. Therefore, call the Green Hills family dentists at Devine Dentistry at (615) 269-4209 for an appointment today!