Let’s be honest. Not many people tend to look forward to a trip to the dentist. Unfortunately, there are some people who find visiting a dentist more than just an “inconvenience”. According to a study from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, nearly 40 million Americans avoid visiting the dentist entirely due to dental anxiety.

If you suffer from dental anxiety, it can be difficult to muster the courage to make an appointment with your dentist. However, dental anxiety should not stand in the way of proper oral health. After all, many other studies have discovered links between oral health and heart health. Fortunately, a sedation dentist understands the plight of those with dental anxiety. The next time you set an appointment to see your dentist, try to follow these tips to help you manage your anxiety:

Have Someone Present During Your Appointment

Sometimes, simply having someone next to you during your dental appointment can help you stay calm and relaxed throughout your visit to the dentist. Do not hesitate to ask your dentist if you can have your parent or a significant other present inside the office during your checkup. Many dentists are more than happy to allow someone to accompany you inside the dental office and hold your hand during your dental checkup.

Use Noise Cancelling Earphones

For many people who have dental anxiety, the sound of a dental drill whirring is more than enough to trigger their anxiety. If you have noticed that the sound of the dental drill is one of the main triggers of your dental anxiety, you may want to invest in a pair of noise cancelling earphones and loading your favorite songs on your smartphone. This way, you can listen to songs that will help you relax. The noise cancelling earphones should be able to drown out the noise of dental drills with ease, especially if you purchase earphones of higher quality.

Create a Hand Signal System with Your Dentist

There are some patients who tend to feel helpless once cleaning or any other dental procedure starts. This is mostly because they are unable to fully communicate with the dentist once a procedure starts. In such cases, it may be a good idea to set up a hand signal system with your dentist to help you communicate with him or her with ease. It doesn’t even have to be complicated. It can be as simple as you raising your right hand if you begin to feel stressed out. As long as you and your dentist have a clear understanding of what each signal means, this system can be incredibly effective.

See a Sedation Dentist

If you suffer from moderate to severe dental anxiety, you may want to try setting an appointment with an experienced sedation dentist. These dentists have undergone extensive training to be able to effectively use of nitrous oxide or oral sedation medications on patients with dental anxiety. Many people who have tried this report a significant reduction in the anxiety, with some patients even surprising themselves how well they were able to take dental procedures.

Sources:
What Is Dental Anxiety And Phobia?, colgate.com
7 ways to manage your anxiety about going to the dentist, deltadentalins.com