Dental anxiety is common among adults and often prevents people from seeking the oral care they need. However, prolonging your visits to the dentist out of fear can make the appointment even more stressful when the time comes. A crippling fear of dentistry doesn’t have to last forever. If you make a conscious effort to work past this response, you can find ways to make visiting the dentist a regular part of your healthcare regimen.
How To Get Over Dental Anxiety?
The best way to get over your anxieties relating to the dentist is to face them. These are a few simple ways to work past your dental anxiety:
Confide in your dentist
Being honest with your dentist about your dental phobia is one of the best ways to make the experience more positive. If your dentist is aware of your fears, they can provide suggestions for how to get over dental anxiety and work with you to create an environment you’re comfortable in. They might be able to offer you sedation options as part of your treatment.
Choose a recommended dentist
Not trusting your dentist can dramatically increase dental anxiety because your brain is in defense mode, trying to protect you. To reduce this neurological response, consider visiting a dentist recommended to you by someone you know personally, and trust.
Use media as a distraction
Focusing on dental procedures can increase your anxiety significantly.
Try bringing a distraction with you to your appointment like putting on headphones and listening to a podcast, so your mind is working on something else. Many dentists’ surgeries have televisions for you to watch and divert your attention.
Avoid other stresses on the day of your appointment
If your dental anxiety is severe, try to make the day of your appointment as serene as possible in other areas of your life. If you can, book the appointment on a day you’re off work and ensure you don’t have anywhere pressing to be immediately afterwards. Plan something fun for yourself later in the day to look forward to if you can, like a relaxing bath or a movie night.
Much like taking a test or exam, arriving prepared can help lower your anxiety level significantly. Brush and floss your teeth thoroughly before an appointment, so there’s less work for your dentist to do. You can even call ahead and ask the receptionist or the dentist for a breakdown of what dental procedures are being performed during the appointment, so there are no surprises.
What is IV Sedation Dentistry?
IV sedation dentistry is another way to help manage dental anxiety during an appointment. You’ll need a consultation with your dentist to determine if conscious sedation is the right choice for you or if your anxiety level and treatment requires general anesthesia instead.
IV sedation dentistry is for conscious sedation, that is administered to your veins via an intravenous catheter. This can be available at your regular dental practice without the supervision of an anaesthesiologist. At Dapto, we use IV sedation in combination with a local anaesthetic to numb the site of the procedure. IV sedation puts you in a relaxed and dreamy state, so the appointment passes quickly, leaving you with little recollection of your treatment.
For more information about how to get over dental anxiety and sedation dentistry, contact Dapto Dentists at (02) 4210 9058.