If you get anxious thinking about going to the dentist, you are not alone. Many Americans have a genuine fear and anxiety over visiting the dentist. This fear keeps them from maintaining regular check-ups and from getting necessary dental care. Therefore patients with anxiety or dental phobia are at a higher risk for damage to their teeth and gum disease. The longer that someone procrastinates going to the dentist, the more likely that any existing problems will worsen. In fact, the fear that one has waited too long to go is a major part of a patient’s anxiety. So, if you find yourself getting nervous at the thought of a dental appointment, there are some ways to ease your nerves.
Addressing the cause of the anxiety
The causes of dental fear can vary. As stated above, some people are afraid that the dentist will judge them for not having had a dental appointment in a long time. Some people fear pain. Some have had a bad experience in the past that keeps them fearful of the future. There are some people that are embarassed of the state of their oral health. Some people fear the expense. The list for reasons of fear and anxiety of a dentist appointment is endless. If you can pinpoint the reason for your nervousness, you may be able to better calm yourself.
Voicing your concerns
Your dental team is better able to help you if you tell them about your nerves and anxiety. Tell them about any past experiences that went badly. Getting your fear off your chest is the first step to feeling better. If you have a specific fear of needles or anesthesia, your dentist can better care for you and your anxiety if you speak up.
Distracting your mind
Things like focusing on your breathing or concentrating on your toes can keep your mind away from stressful thoughts. Imagine yourself at your favorite vacation spot or in your mind’s happy place. Sometimes an actual distraction such as music in headphones, a stress ball, or even a fidget spinner can keep your anxiety at bay.
Your dentist wants to help ease your dental anxiety
Dr. Jones, Dr. Harris, and our team members invest in continuing education to comfort our patients’ anxiety. Schedule a consultation at Mansfield Dental Associates by calling 817-473-6227. Located in Mansfield, TX, we also welcome patients and families from all surrounding communities including South Arlington, Kennedale, Southeast Ft. Worth, Alvarado, Midlothian, and more.