10 Tips for Managing Dental Anxiety
Over the past 40 years, we have welcomed thousands of patients into our dental family. Some people enjoy coming to the dentist and look forward to it. Others, however, have dental anxiety ranging from mild to extreme. People are not born with a fear of dentists, but rather something has happened over time to create the phobia. Some patients have had a bad experience with previous doctor, while others simply don’t like the sound of a drill, the sight of a needle, or the feeling of a doctor’s hands in their mouth.
Occasional anxiety is a normal part of life, but if you feel an overwhelming sense of fear and panic when you step into our office, we want to help to put you at ease. Avoiding the dentist altogether can only lead to much larger problems, so here are 10 tips for dealing with dental anxiety at our office.
Let Us Get To Know YouWhen scheduling your first visit, let us know about your fears and concerns. Our staff will walk you through the what to expect on your first visit, so that you won’t have a fear of the “unknown” upon your arrival. Let us know if you want to speak to the doctor before your appointment, as this can sometimes help put you at ease.
Rest UpGet a good night’s sleep before your appointment and avoid caffeine before your visit. These beverages are likely to make you more jittery during your visit. If possible, schedule your appointment in the morning, so that you don’t start questioning the procedure and worrying about your visit later in the day.
Bring a Family Member With YouHaving someone you trust by your side can help you to make decisions and calm you during your visit. If you need reassurance, they will be there for you!
Talk To UsDuring your appointment, inform the dentist that you have a phobia. Dr. McCall will walk you through the steps of the procedure as he is about to perform them. Knowing what will happen next can help put you at ease, and if you need a break, don’t hesitate to ask!
Set Expectations With UsThe goal for your visit is to ensure you have a good experience. If you feel you are not ready for a procedure, let us know. We want to ensure you come back, rather than push you to do something you are not yet ready for.
Ask For The DentalVibeIf you have a fear of needles, we will offer you the DentalVibe. The DentalVibe provides gentle vibration to the site of the dental injection so that you don’t register the pain or discomfort from the injection. The sound of the vibration creates an added distraction, and the vibration also helps disperse the anesthesia once it’s injected so that it can work even faster. Read testimonials about this revolutionary tool here.
- Seek Distraction At McCall Family Dentistry, each room is equipped with a flat-screen television above your head. Let us know what you’d like to watch! From HGTV to Netflix movies, we have something for everyone. If the sound of a drill isn’t pleasing to you, be sure to request a pair of BlueTooth headphones to drown out the noises in the background.
Try Relaxation TechniquesPractice controlled breathing by taking a big breath, holding it, and letting it out slowly. This can help you to relax your muscles and slow your heartbeat.
Schedule Regular Dental Check-UpsFrequent visits will help you to get to know and trust our staff. Staying on top of your oral hygiene will also enable Dr. McCall to catch problems early, avoiding more extensive procedures at a later date.
Discuss Other OptionsIf you feel that you still can’t bring yourself to visiting a dentist, talk to Dr. McCall about available sedatives, numbing agents, or prescriptions that may or may not be appropriate for you.