7 Way to Reduce Dental Anxiety
Look we know the dentist isn’t for everyone but some of us get a little more nervous or anxious than others. With the help of some of our dentists we’ve put together seven ways to help you feel more comfortable at the dentist.
Numero Uno! - Communication is key! Choose a dentist that you can communicate well with, who listens to your needs and understands your anxiety. Being able to speak openly with your dentist is important. Make sure you express your concerns to your dentist and let them know what makes you anxious during your dental visits.
Second Up - Plug in your headphones and listen to music during your visit. This is a great idea if the sounds of the dental practice cause you anxiety. Load up a playlist with your favourite tunes and escape into your music while your dentist does their thing. Maybe avoid anything that makes you want to dance though so we don’t bust your tooth as you bust a move in the chair.
Thirdly - Bring along a buddy that can support you. Our team understand that the dentist can be overwhelming and that even having someone familiar in the room with you can help you feel at ease.
Number Four - Talk to your dentist about what is involved with your treatment. If the fear of the unknown makes you anxious, ask your dentist to run through their plan for your visit. Our dentists are no Richie Benaud, but you can also ask them to give you commentary during your treatment. That way you’ll know what they are doing and why they are doing it.
Coming in at Number Five - Essential oils and homeopathic elixirs can assist in reducing anxiety. Lavender, Bergamot oil, or ylang-ylang fragrant oils are just some examples of essential oils that may help reduce your anxiety. Certain herbal treatments such as Chamomile, Passion Flower and Valerian may also have the same effect. It’s important to consult your doctor about herbal medicines before trying any of these options.
Our Sixth Tip - If your anxiety is severe, sedation dentistry (commonly known as sleep dentistry) may be an option for you. You’ll need to consult with your dentist first about the right sedation type for you. Your dentist may even be able to perform more treatment whilst you are sedated.
Last but not least - prevention! The best way to overcome your anxiety is to prevent the need for dental treatment in the first place. Regular dental visits will actually reduce your dental anxiety in the long term as you continue to develop trust with your dentist and you prevent the need for more complex treatment. Making sure you are maintaining a good oral health routine and taking care of your teeth may also reduce your time spent at the dentist.
Everyone is different and we all handle anxiety differently. These are just some of the more common ways to help you feel comfortable at the dentist. If these strategies don’t work for you, consult with our local Melbourne dentists about some alternatives for your unique needs.