How to Go to the Dentist When You Have Anxiety

There is very little about the dentist that your average person would describe as “fun”. Doctor’s offices tend to be bland and stark, and for some the sterility of it all can start to give you the creeps. Not to mention the sharp tools, loud drills, horrible tasting rinses, and washes, and of course, the bleeding gums and poking and prodding. If the dentist gives you anxiety you should know that you are not alone. We’re going to share with you three tips that can make it easier to go to the dentist when you have bad anxiety.

Let Your Dentist Know

The first thing that you should do if going to the dentist makes you anxious is to let your dentist know. It can be scary to acknowledge your fears, and even more frightening to share those fears with your dentist. It’s like telling a clown that you are afraid of clowns. But by acknowledging your anxiety and letting your dentist in the loop, you get it out in the open. This allows you and your dentist to work together to find solutions that work for you to ease your stress at the dentist. Your dentist wants to help.

Ask for Sedation Options

Another great tip that you should try if you need oral surgery, or another intensive dental procedure is to ask about your sedation options. While you won’t get sedated for every dental cleaning, for more intense procedures, like wisdom tooth removal, or a gum graft, you have options for sedation. According to Mark J. Williamson, IV sedation during a dental procedure means you don’t have to remember anything. This can be very good for patients who might be panicked if only locally anesthetized. Discuss your options with your dentist and oral surgeon early on in the process and see what options make you the most comfortable.

Reward Yourself

The final tip that can help you go to the dentist when you have anxiety is to reward yourself for going. While it is not a fix all, Ask MetaFilter suggests giving yourself a reward for going to the dentist to help you associate going to the dentist with a reward. This can make the overall experience less stressful. It can be a big or small prize, whatever you find motivates you.

Going to the dentist can be a huge source of anxiety for many people. If you get anxious at the dentist, there are a few things that you can try. Make sure you give these ideas a try for your next dentist visits and see what a difference it makes.

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