Do you ever feel nervous when you think about the prospect of your next dental appointment? for some patients anxiety can run wild and build momentum ahead of routine dental check ups or more invasive dental procedures and treatments whether this be extractions, dental implants and more. Patients are often worried about pain or the treatment itself if this is something new to them that they have not experience before.
Often this is imagined and the situation is not nearly as bad as patients first think it will be. This can snowball and if a patients avoid booking or attending an appointment then the higher the chances are that associated dental problems will develop. Actually seeing your approved dentist regularly can make the process much easier across the board. This is because with the right care and attention many problems can be avoided completely. This article will help you to face your fears so that you can achieve the best possible smile and dental health.
You may be interested to know that in the past decade there has been a shift towards a dental spa experience – one that is relaxing and luxurious, in comparison to stuffy dental practices with a surgery room, reception desk and waiting room with a few worn out magazines and a water cooler with plastic cups. This trend may influence your choice of practice, and indeed there are some dentists who specialise in the treatment of nervous patients and provide a series of sedation options.
Firstly you should tell the receptionist about your concerns and how you feel. This will also help you feel better as you will be talking about what is on your mind. Your dental care team will also be able to better accommodate you for your treatment and may be able to provide a range of sedation options if they offer these for nervous patients. Bottom line is your dentist needs to know and understand your requirements. When you attend your appointment be sure to allow extra time to travel to the clinic so that you are not rushing and causing unnecessary extra stress. When you arrive, remind the receptionist about the fact that you are feeling nervous. The receptionist will be able to relay this to the dentist who will be in a position to help and put you at ease. Ask lots of questions, you may be worried about something that is not relevant or a myth. If you are worried about pain, your dentist will be able to advise on an anaesthetic. It is common for patients to feel embarrassed about their pain threshold. Discuss it in order to improve the situation.
Another strategy is to distract yourself. For example do you have some favourite sound tracks you could listen to? or other type of relaxing audio. You could save tracks to your phone or iPod and ensure you bring your headphones and have sufficient power for the duration of your appointment. This will also distract you from your treatment and the sound of your treatment which can bother some patients. Some dental offices also have TVs in their surgery. You can also bring a stress relief item such as a ball or spinner to distract yourself with. And remind yourself that it is just a very short term and temporary situation.
To relax even more you can also use mindfulness techniques such as breathing and visualising. You can count your breaths inhaling and exhaling slowly. This is more likely to be before your appointment than during your actual appointment. You can also relax your muscles one by one working from your head all the way down to your toes. This will release tension and relax you – there will be a tipping point at which the thought of your treatment will no longer be in the way. Then you can enjoy enhancing your dental health and smile.