It is not uncommon for an individual to avoid visiting the dentist because he or she has anxiety related to the dentist. Unfortunately, dentists are comically referred to as sadists in television and popular culture. This claim is quite untrue. The dentist’s goal is to help a patient achieve or maintain good oral health while making the patient as comfortable as possible.
First and foremost, if you suffer from this anxiety, it is important to visit your dentist regularly to avoid dental problems and the treatment required to improve them. Often, these patients avoid the dentist resulting in neglected oral health. Avoiding the dentist typically requires the patient to undergo more involved treatment for problems that have not been addressed early.
Tips for Minimizing Dental Anxiety
- Visit your dentist twice a year (or as your dentist recommends) for your cleaning and check up to avoid decay and disease or to catch problems before they require more involved treatment.
- Make your appointment on a day and at a time that is least stressful for you. Allow plenty of time to make your appointment.
- Express your anxiety to Dr. Jekel and his team so that they are sensitive to your specific needs. It is best to mention this when you schedule your appointment, so our office may consider your needs when providing you with the most suitable appointment time for you and a time when the office is best able to accommodate you with additional time.
- Practice slow, rhythmic breathing.
- Avoid tending to business or events that are stressful immediately before your dental appointment.
- Listen to relaxing music during dental treatment when the procedure allows.
- In severe cases, anti-anxiety medications may be necessary.
Remember that your oral health is important and we are your partners in helping you maintain your oral health. Good communication is the most important element in assisting you through your dental appointment.