It's natural to be afraid of the dentist. You probably imagine sharp tools, strange smells, and pain. But you shouldn't let that fear keep you from taking care of your teeth. Regular dental visits are important. Here are a few tips to ease your dental fear.
Discuss your fear with your dentist
It can be difficult to discuss your fears with your dentist because you don't want to appear cowardly or weak-minded. Your dentist understands your fears and your experiences, and he is here to help. Talk to him about your worries. You can discuss the treatment before the procedure so you know what's about to happen and what to expect.
Agree upon a signal that will let your dentist know you need a break
Sometimes patients feel too embarrassed to tell their dentist that they need a break in the middle of a procedure. If you have a sensitive gag reflex, you might also hesitate to speak in front of other people. In these cases, you need to agree on a signal with your dental hygienist before the procedure begins. This will prevent any kind of discomfort during the treatment process.
Take a friend or family member with you for support
If you experience anxiety or discomfort at the dentist's office, ask your dentist if you can have someone accompany you while you undergo treatment. This person can serve as a calming presence and provide much-needed reassurance and support. It can also make the time pass faster as you chat with them.
Bring distractions to occupy your mind during procedures
If you have mild anxiety, you can bring some music or a movie and play it during the procedure. Listening to calming music or watching your favorite movie will occupy your mind and may calm you down a bit. You can also bring a distraction like a coloring book and crayons, and a pencil to help you focus on something positive. Bring your headphones and listen to soothing music while you color. The repetitive motion of coloring and the calming effect of music will help to ease your fear and make your experience more pleasant. Hand-held video games are also a great option for some distractions. Feel free to discuss these suggestions with your dentist beforehand to make sure they don't interfere with any tools used during the procedure.
Consider sedation dentistry
If anxiety is a problem for you, ask about oral sedation and IV sedation options that are offered at your dental office. These treatments can help you relax while you receive your dental treatments.
To find out more about the dental services we offer at Elite Dental, West St. Paul, MN, call (952) 432-1716 or schedule an online consultation. You can also visit us at 7300 147th St., W., Suite 108, West St. Paul, MN.