Dental Anxiety – How Can I Overcome My Fears?

Dental anxiety is more common than you might think. Your mouth is a very personal place, and there’s a natural feeling of vulnerability when a dentist is looking into your mouth. However, you shouldn’t let your dental anxiety prevent you from seeking dental treatment at our family dentistry in Waterloo. The following are a few tips to help you overcome your dental anxiety so that you can seek the dental treatment you need:

• Understand that the more positive experiences you have at the dentist, the more it will help with your anxiety, especially if it was caused by negative experiences in your past. This means that to begin getting over your anxiety, the first step is to visit the dentist and discuss your concerns and dental history.

• Don’t hold back about your fears. Explain to the dentist when making your appointment that you have dental anxiety. A good dentist will listen to what you have to say and what you are scared of in particular. Be sure to tell them specifics regarding your anxiety so that they will be able to recognize if you are feeling anxious.

• If you have a fear of a particular procedure, then build up to that procedure with several other appointments. For example, if you have a fear of having teeth removed, have your teeth inspected and then cleaned in two different appointments so that you build up positive experiences – as well as trust for your dentist. This should be extremely beneficial in helping to reduce some of that anxiety when it comes time for the actual procedure.

• If you have general anxiety about dentists, set up an appointment that doesn’t involve the dentist inspecting or cleaning your teeth. A good dentist will want to do everything they can to help reduce your anxiety and should be willing to meet with you and talk about your fears. By developing a friendly relationship with the dentist before he or she does any work, you build a foundation for trust and understanding that should help lessen your fears.

• When receiving treatment, speak to your dentist about a sign you can give him or her that signals a spike in your anxiety. This will tell them they should pause and let you regroup. Just knowing you have such signals at your disposal should help. You may also wish to seek out an oral sedative, or nitrous oxide, both of which are highly safe and can be very effective in helping reduce anxiety.

Contact us at Waterloo Smiles family dentistry in Waterloo and don’t hesitate to tell us about your anxiety when scheduling an appointment.

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