Overcoming Dental Fear

Dentistry has come a long way over the years. 

Can you imagine undergoing an extraction in ancient times with no anesthesia and unsterilized tools? Luckily, we live in the right century when it comes to having a positive experience at the dentist. 

No matter the times we live in or current technology – fear of the dentist is experienced by many Americans. It’s normal to be a bit fearful of certain experiences, but if it is preventing you from getting needed dental care, let us help! 

Here are a few ideas from Vacenda to help you calm your nerves:

Identify Your Fears 

It’s helpful to identify the specific aspects of a dental visit that cause you anxiety. 

Sometimes writing your fears down on a piece of paper can help identify concerns that may be unfounded or overblown by your imagination. Then, collaborate with your dental team to help make the experience easier. 

Perhaps we can dim the lights to provide a calmer experience? Or explain what to expect each step of the way. Or perhaps you prefer they remain silent so you can focus on relaxing. Either way, we are here to make the process as easy as possible.

Bring a Friend

Simply having social support can make a big difference! Afraid of the needle? Have your friend hold your hand or share a funny story to make that initial twinge more doable for you. 

Use Relaxation Techniques 

Try deep breathing or repeating a helpful mantra. Whether that’s your favorite verse, music lyric, or something simple like “I am in control. This will be over soon,” this affirmation can help settle your nerves.

Use Hand Signals 

Inform your practitioner when you need a break. Let them know that when you lift your left hand, it means you need something. When you’re ready to proceed, give them permission to continue the procedure. 

Ask About Sedation Options

Your dentist will be able to explain the different options out there and any associated risks. 

Depending on the level of sedation you require, you may need to be referred to a special dentist.

Reward Yourself

If it helps, find some type of reward to focus on throughout your visit. Focus on intrinsic rewards (“I finally won’t have to deal with this toothache”) and extrinsic rewards (“double mocha with whip, please”). 

Bottom line: your dental health is too important to let fear stand in your way! We are just a phone call away from starting the process and making your dental experience a good one!