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5 Helpful Tips for Managing Dental Anxiety

August 2, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — castleberry @ 7:08 am
Woman smiling at her dental appointment.

If you’d rather be anywhere else in the world than the dentist’s office, don’t worry—you aren’t alone! Many patients suffer from dental anxiety, and at times it can even be debilitating and prevent them from receiving the care they desperately need! But preventive care is crucial for a happy and healthy smile; so how can you effectively conquer dental anxiety and make visiting the dentist tolerable at the very least? Here are five tips from your dentist to help you out!

#1: Ask for a Rundown of the Visit

As a patient, you have the right to know everything that your dentist is going to be doing throughout your visit—so be sure that you’re on the same page! Your dentist can give you a step-by-step rundown of what you can expect; this will make all of that poking and prodding around much more bearable and less anxiety-inducing. Your dentist can even explain their process as they work, which can help you to feel even more comfortable while seated in the chair.

#2: Voice Your Concerns

On a related note, you shouldn’t hesitate to voice any concerns you have or ask your dentist any questions that pop up during your visit. If you let your dentist know about anything that’s bugging you, they can take extra measures to ensure you’re comfortable and calm throughout your visit. Voicing your concerns is not an admission of weakness; it simply allows you to be more informed and in turn, less worried about your visit.

#3: Monitor Your Breathing

Many people have the tendency to hold their breath when they get nervous, but this is something that you should avoid doing! Holding your breath is an easy way to deny yourself the oxygen you need, and reduced oxygen levels will only fuel your anxiety. To avoid this, you can try some breathing exercises or meditation techniques before your appointment. During your appointment, focus on slow, regular breathing to reduce the amount of stress you’re feeling.

#4: Consider Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry is one of the most widely sought-after solutions for patients who suffer from dental-related anxiety. There are various degrees of sedation and many ways your dentist can make your visit easier. One popular method is nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, which is administered through a breathing mask. Your dentist can also utilize things like topical creams to numb parts of your mouth. If you’re worried about pain or discomfort, you have nothing to fear!

#5: Congratulate Yourself Afterwards

If you really dread going to the dentist, consider giving yourself something to look forward to afterwards. Maybe plan a fun outing or activity with a group of friends. Or perhaps you could treat yourself to something nice, like an expensive dinner or a fancy new gadget. Planning something for yourself after your dental visit can be the perfect motivator to help you overcome your anxiety and get your smile the care it needs!

If dental visits seem like an impossible task because of your anxiety, don’t fret—these five tips can help you find comfort the next time you sit down in your dentist’s chair.

About the Practice

The team at The Castleberry Center is proud to serve the dental needs of the Louetta, TX area under the leadership of Dr. Darrick Castleberry. A Houston native, Dr. Castleberry strives to provide an exceptional level of dental care for those in the areas near his hometown. He received his dental doctorate from the Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry and is an active member of several professional organizations including the Texas Dental Association and the prestigious Academy of General Dentistry. To schedule a visit, feel free to contact his practice online or by phone: (281) 320-9600.

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