If you get sweaty palms, a quickened heart rate and an impending sense of doom every time you approach the dentist chair you’re not alone. Many people fear the dentist, and the process of having any kind of dental work done can induce a lot of anxiety and stress. At Docklands Dental, we know that not everyone enjoys coming to see us (although we always love to see you!) so here are a few tips for calming your nerves if you’re afraid of visiting the dentist.
Plan ahead for your appointment
When coming to see us, plan your appointment for a time when you’ll have a little bit of spare time before it to prepare yourself. Don’t leave yourself feeling rushed and flustered just before your appointment, as this will only increase your anxiety. Just before your appointment, you can listen to music you find soothing, or try some breathing exercises to help yourself feel calmer.
Your food and drink intake
Before an appointment, try to avoid high sugar foods and high caffeine drinks as these can make you jittery and add to your growing nerves. Instead try having a cup of camomile tea which is known for its soothing properties.
Talk to us and let us know your concerns
We see nervous patients every day, and if you talk to us prior to your treatment and let us know that you’re uncomfortable or anxious we can tailor our care to help you relax more. Our dental staff have all received training to help us provide excellent patient care to those individuals stressed at the thought of it, so rest assured there’s no better dentist to place your trust in.
It can be hard to distract yourself if someone has their hands inside your mouth or they’re using a drill, but you can divert your attention to other areas to try and dull the uncomfortable sensation. If you have relaxing music, you can listen with your headphones in, and at our practice we also have a large flat screen TV on the ceiling for you to watch and take your mind off your treatment.
In extreme cases
If none of these tips work and you still feel like a trip to the dentist is an insurmountable challenge, then why not ask us about administering Intravenous Conscious Sedation Dentistry (IV Sedation or Sedation Dentistry) before your treatment? For this, we administer an anti-anxiety drug before your treatment begins and the effect puts you into a state of deep relaxation with either partial or full memory loss (amnesia) for the period of time when the drug first kicks in until it wears off. As a result, time will appear to pass very quickly and you will not recall much of what happened, so your treatment will be over before you know it. Find out more about this treatment here.