When it comes to dental care, many struggle with dental anxiety, which is one of the most common phobias among adults. This phobia is so strong that some avoid visiting dentists as much as they can. But your oral health is very important to us, so it is important to deal with the dental fear. There are two main classes of dental anxiety:mild dental activity and severe dental anxiety.
Mild dental anxiety is very common. One of the most qualified dentists in Texas, H. Peter Ku, D.D.S PA, shares some of his strategies and techniques that can be used to overcome mild dental anxiety. Some of these strategies include the following:
- Talk to your dentist: The first step towards overcoming the dental anxiety is visiting your dentist. Talk to him or her in detail about your fears so you can work towards relaxing during your appointments.. By allowing your dentist to take his or her time, you can feel more at ease that everything is going smoothly.
- Use relaxation techniques: There are several ways you can put relaxation techniques into place. For instance, during your appointment with your dentist, you can play music or the radio so you can listen to your favorite, relaxing tunes. Another way of relaxing is to chat with your doctor during the process about something other than dentistry topics, so you can get your mind off of things. It’s important to find what works for you, so try out different techniques until you feel relaxed. Because when you are relaxed, it is easy for the anxiety to go away.
- Practice breathing techniques: Controlling your breathing helps relax your body and shifts your focus to other things that can occupy your mind.This can help you avoid a lot of discomfort and anxiety. The most common way of using this breathing technique is breathing in and out specifically through your nose. It not only helps you overcome anxiety and discomfort but also it helps you overcome breathing issues that are commonly experienced at the dentist, especially when there is something in the mouth.
- Try meditation: As you are slowing your breathing and are monitoring your heart rate, try seeping into a meditative state. When you are meditating, try quieting your mind and focusing your thoughts on remaining calm. Lengthen your spine and try relaxing every limb into your dentist’s chair. If you are focusing on how your body is changing, you may forget that you were worried coming in to your appointment.
Peter Ku, D.D.S PA has also shared ways on how you can overcome severe dental anxiety. Treating severe dental anxiety is very different than the way you treat mild dental anxiety. Severe dental anxiety is more of psychological phobia and it can be solved by use of the following ways:
- Counseling: Counseling can pinpoint the cause of your phobia. The counselor can help you try to work through your anxiety so you are able to move beyond it. There are many places where you can find counseling, and there are large number of people who have really benefited from these services.
- Enroll in support networks: Because dental anxiety has become common, so many support networks have come to help people undergoing these situations. There are also forums that are specifically dedicated to helping people overcome these dental phobias. These forums normally consist of fellow patients and qualified, reputable dentists.
- Use of sedation: This is not the recommended option for the patients suffering from dental anxiety. However, it is one of the best solutions to more severe cases and it provides a better chance of anxious patients visiting their dentist again. Sedation has several types:
- Oral sedation: This involves swallowing a tablet hours before you can start your dental treatment.With oral sedation, you will be awake during the treatment but you will be drowsy and feel more relaxed.
- Intravenous sedation: This is the use of an injection, which is commonly administered at the back of your hand. Just like the oral sedation, you will be awake, but you will be in a better and deeper state of relaxation. When you use this method, you may not remember what happened afterwards.
Before trying out these treatments, consult your dentist so you can find which strategy would work best for you. If you have this conversation with your doctor, then you can rest assured that you are moving toward making your anxiety disappear.