It’s estimated that 60 percent of people have some kind of dental anxiety and dental phobia is a recognizable diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Even though this shows that dental anxiety is quite common, it can still have an impact on a person’s quality of life.This type of anxiety usually results in avoiding the dentist, and not going the recommended two times a year.

Dentists want patients to be as calm as possible, though the smell of the office and the sound of dental tools can send a patient into a panic. But that’s ok. It’s common –

“Prompt, personable, considerate & fairly priced service. I have dentalphobia, but Dr. D and his staff put me very much at ease. My knuckles are not nearly so white on the arms of the patient chair when I’m in their office and hands. Thank you!” – new patient, January 2019. 

Here are some ways to cope with anxiety when going to the dentist:

  • Research the practice – Call ahead and ask how the dentist handles a patient with dental anxiety. As you can see from our hundreds of patient reviews, our team is not only extremely knowledgeable, but gentle and patient. That’s something you need in a dental practice if you deal with dental anxiety.
  • Be upfront with the dentist – If we’re aware of your fears and concerns, we can work around them during the appointment. We’ll explain procedures more thoroughly, answer any questions you have and adapt what they need to do to what will make you more comfortable. You should also agree on a signal with our team to let them know when your anxiety is too much. Something as simple as raising your hand can let them know you need a break.
  • Wear earplugs or listen to music – It can often work wonders.
  • Use mindfulness techniques – Bring yoga practices into the dentist chair. Practice deep breathing or meditation during a cleaning or procedure, which can help keep your focus off what the dentist is doing. Concentrating on other parts of your body, or relaxing your muscles one by one, can also be an effective and mindful distraction technique.

Seeing a dentist regularly not only helps make dental procedures more routine and hopefully less anxiety-ridden, but also reduces the chance of having complicated dental visits that would make anyone anxious. If you’d like to schedule an appointment, call us today at (850) 542-4428. We’re here to help.