Calming Your Nerves at the Dentist’s Office

Calming Your Nerves at the Dentist’s Office

by Shearly (SU)

If you are afraid of the dentist, you are not alone. Dental anxiety is actually quite common. In many cases, people feel so nervous about seeing a dentist that they actually neglect their dental health, which can lead to tooth loss, gum disease, and other issues. In some cases, patients may have experienced some form of dental trauma, often in childhood, that leads to anxiety during dental visits. The good news is that advances in dentistry have made it possible for you to feel much more relaxed and comfortable than ever before. If you need help calming your nerves at the dentist’s office, these tips may be all you need to feel better.

 Things you can do to overcome your fear of the dentist

Express these concerns to your dentist: one of the absolute best ways to combat anxiety at the dentist office is to talk openly and honestly with your dentist about your fears. In this way, you can take back some of the element of control which many people feel like they do not have at the dentist office. Your dentist may even surprise you by knowing ways to cater to your specific needs and anxieties that can make your appointments and procedures more comfortable for you.

Remember that your dentist is just a person: many people feel afraid in the dentist office simply because of how alien the procedures and instruments feel to them. Normalize the dentist’s office by reminding yourself that everyone inside is a person just like you, and is just doing their job. Imagine if you were a dentist. Surely you would trust yourself enough to work on a patient if you are trained to do so, just as your dentist does. And remember, even your dentist has sat in that chair.

Regulate your breathing during dental procedures: breathing patterns are one of the ways to force the brain into either feeling stressed or unstressed, depending on what type of breathing patterns are undertaken. Taking slow, measured breaths will send signals to your brain, essentially telling it to “calm down.”

Listen to music or watch a movie: Ask your dentist if they offer amenities such as movies or music to help you relax. You can also request nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to help you remain calm, or if your anxiety is severe, talk to your dentist about a one-time medication. Some dentists do provide anti-anxiety medications, others do not.

Communication, communication, communication: as stated before, this is the ultimate key to staying calm in the dentist office. Whether it’s making sure that your dentist is communicating with you while outlining the steps of the procedure in order to make you feel more comfortable, or you carrying on a lighthearted conversation with your dentist (when you are able), simply talking it out can prove to be a massive relief.

Do some research: as anxiety is highly different between people, try searching online in places such as forums for people with anxiety in order to find what solutions might work for you. Also, bear in mind that dental anxiety is a common issue, so many dentists and dental offices have extensive experience with people who are afraid of the dentist.

If you would like to know more about calming your nerves at the dentist’s office or wish to make an appointment with a gentle, compassionate dentist, please call 360 Dental Group today at (541) 689-1645 or request an appointment online. Dr. Binder and the compassionate and experienced staff are here for you!