Being nervous about an upcoming dental appointment is common, especially if you’re undergoing treatment for a cavity, to treat gum disease, or to get a root canal.
From general nervousness and anxiety about the experience to phobias like a fear of drilling or needles, nerves and fear often stand in the way of getting much-needed dental treatment. Unfortunately, putting it off can lead to more problems in the future.
The good news is that there are steps you can take to manage your nerves and anxiety. With an office in The Woodlands, Texas, Scott Young, DDS, provides dental services for the greater Houston region, including the communities of Highland Village, West University, River Oaks, Rice Village, and Memorial.
How to manage your nerves and anxiety before your next dental appointment
Whether it’s time for your routine dental exam and cleaning or you’re scheduled for a specific treatment, feeling nervous about your next trip to the dentist is normal and understandable.
The first step is acknowledging your nerves and pinpointing what’s causing them. Ask what your nerves are trying to tell you:
- Are you nervous about getting potentially bad news about your oral health or the need for specific dental treatments?
- Do you have symptoms you’ve been ignoring, like pain, bleeding gums, or tooth sensitivity?
- Does the thought of needles, drilling, or the smell of the dentist’s office make you sick or anxious?
If you’re feeling stuck or paralyzed by anxiety and fear, we can help. Call before your appointment to ask any questions and address any concerns.
Tips and tricks to manage your dental anxiety
Everyone is different, so what works well for one person may not work for someone else. The key is to identify the source of your anxiety and experiment with techniques to help manage it effectively.
Here are a few things you can do to relax before your next trip to the dentist:
1. Pick the right time of day
If you’re already anxious and stressed, scheduling your appointment at the busiest point of the day or when you might feel rushed will add to your anxiety. Schedule your appointment at the time of day you think you’ll feel the most comfortable and relaxed.
2. Bring a friend
Bringing someone along for support can make a significant difference. If you think having a friend or loved one will help you relax and ease your nerves about your appointment, ask someone to accompany you to the office.
3. Bring entertainment
Listening to music or a podcast, watching a movie, reading a book, or downloading a meditation and relaxation app are great tools to help you stay calm and comfortable before and during your appointment.
4. Ask about sedation dentistry
Sedation dentistry ranges from mild to full sedation. Depending on your circumstances, sedation dentistry may be a good option, especially if you have any sensory issues, a low pain threshold, or a sensitive gag reflex.
5. Keep up with your preventive dentistry
It might sound counterintuitive, but the more you go to the dentist, the more likely you will feel comfortable and less anxious about your next visit. Regular dental exams and cleanings (every six months for most people) reduce your risk of developing oral health problems like tooth decay and gum disease.
For more information and tips for managing dental fear and anxiety, contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists at our office in the greater Houston area.