Preparing for a dental checkup or procedure with your dentist can be a nerve-wracking experience, regardless of your age. In fact, studies show that anywhere between 30 and 40 million Americans suffer from dental anxiety and fear. Check out these tips for information on how you can overcome your dental anxiety:
1. Consult with Your Dentist
Dental anxiety may be the result of bad dental experiences in the past, fear of pain, or embarrassment over the condition of one’s teeth and gums. A good way to alleviate your anxiety is to set up an initial consultation with your dentist so that you can ask questions and discuss any possible procedure steps. This will also give you the opportunity to discuss your fears with your dentist one-on-one so that he or she can take any additional steps to provide a comfortable, anxiety-free environment.
2. Discuss the Procedure with Family or Friends
Sometimes all it takes to ease your anxiety is talking to others about your upcoming dental exam or procedure. Consider contacting a close relative, friend, or neighbor who has undergone a similar dental procedure so that you can learn what to expect.
3. Practice Deep Breathing Techniques
Deep breathing refers to a relaxation technique designed to reduce stress and anxiety levels and can often be combined with music or aromatherapy for maximum results. Before your appointment or while in the waiting room, practice deep breathing meditation by sitting comfortably with your back straight up against the chair. Breathe in through your nose and take deep breaths from your abdomen rather than shallow breaths from your upper chest. Exhale through your mouth and move out as much air as you can while contracting your stomach muscles, repeating as many times as necessary.
Our cosmetic dentists, hygienists, and staff members with South Riding Family Dentistry are devoted to providing compassionate customer service to all of our dental patients in a friendly, anxiety-free environment. Get the care you need by calling our Brambleton-area office at (703) 327-0327.