coping with dental anxiety

Going to the Dentist when you’re Scared-Ways to Cope with Dental Anxiety

Dr Devine Sedation Dentistry

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

People who have phobias or fear going to the dentist can find it challenging to keep their oral health in optimal shape. Dental anxiety can stem from a previous childhood experience or a preconceived idea of what a dental experience should entail. The experienced family dentists in Nashville at Devine Dentistry understand how dental anxiety is natural and can complicate maintaining a healthy mouth. Therefore, in today’s blog, we share ways to cope with dental stress when going to the dentist.

Trust and Communicate with your Dentist

Many patients’ fears come from not trusting their provider or feeling uncomfortable about the situation. Overcoming dental anxiety by opening up to your dentist about your concerns and worries can change the trust level and increase a mutually beneficial relationship. The friendly Green Hills dentists strive to curate a friendship of trust built on integrity within our dental practice. Therefore, we encourage you to share what is on your mind and whether you feel anxiety about your visit so that we can work together to achieve a relaxing experience for you.

Ways to Cope with Dental Anxiety

  • Talk about it. The best way to help calm your fears when visiting your dentist is to share your anxiety, fear, or how tense you feel about your appointment. The flexible Belle Meade dental team can adjust treatment needs based on your concerns.
  • Focus on your breathing. Studies show that when you concentrate on your breathing, you can slow your heart rate. When you feel nervous, it is best to take deep breathes to maintain critical oxygen levels and decrease your instinct to panic. The slow, concentrated breaths help regulate your breathing to a slower pace and keep you from panicking.
  • Listen to some music. Music can move the soul and provide comfort. While the sounds of your dental appointment could be concerning or unwanted noise, consider bringing some headphones and your favorite tunes to jam out to while our Nashville family dentists work on your teeth.
  • Watch what you eat. Certain foods, such as caffeine or sugar, contribute to anxiety. Therefore, be cautious about what you eat and drink before your dental visit. For example, high protein foods are best as they provide a more calming effect than sugary or carbohydrate-filled foods like bread, chips, or crackers that tend to increase hyper activities.
  • Use body language to communicate. Generally, if something bothers you during an appointment, you say something. However, communicating with dentists is more challenging than a mere grimace. Developing a hand signal that allows you to communicate non-verbally can reduce your anxiety as you have complete control over the appointment process.
  • Pick a good time of day. Scheduling an appointment during a part of your day where you feel less stressed or rushed can help you reduce your anxiety during your visit. Therefore, schedule your appointments when you feel most relaxed and less stressed for the day.
  • See the right dentist. Friends and relatives are usually an excellent source for a recommendation for a dental professional in Belle Meade. Not all dentists are patient or equipped to treat anxious patients. Be sure to choose a trusted dentist in Nashville if you have anxiety or are fearful about going to the dentist.
  • Ask about sedation dentistry. Some dentists who are more sensitive to individuals with dental anxieties may offer sedation dentistry to ease even the most scared individuals. Sedation dentistry is safe and effective for healthy patients. At Devine Dentistry, we offer nitrous oxide, which is is inhaled during your appointment to create a calm, relaxing effect. Patients may choose nitrous oxide because its effects wear off quickly after the appointment, which means you can drive yourself and return to your usual activities afterward. For patients receiving extensive or lengthy treatments, they may opt for IV sedation, which has a much more intense sedation effect. However, IV sedation dentistry in Nashville requires that the patient have a trusted individual bring them to and from their appointment, as well as sit with them afterward. After IV sedation, the dentist recommends taking it easy for the remainder of the day. If you’d like to find out if nitrous oxide is right for you or have questions about IV sedation in Green Hills, please contact our office.

Experienced Sedation Dentists in Belle Meade, Green Hills, and Nashville, TN

Fear of the dentist or the tools the dentist uses is a widespread phenomenon among Americans. However, the dental industry developed multiple ways to help ease patients’ anxieties in the name of overall health care. If you or a loved one fear the dentist, please call the caring dentists in Green Hills for an appointment and share your concerns. We would be happy to accommodate your needs to help protect your oral and overall health. Feel free to schedule a consultation by calling Devine Dentistry at (615) 269-4209 or request an appointment online today.