Dental fear and anxiety are common, affecting up to 36% of the population. Even though it’s prevalent, unease and fear shouldn’t stop you from getting the dental care you need. If you’re having trouble sleeping due to worrying about your dental visit, if you’re putting off dental appointments or procedures, or if your stomach feels upset from nerves, Mehrnoosh Darj, DDS, and her team can put you at ease.
Whether you’re scheduled for a tooth extraction or root canal, the experts at Dr. Darj Dental in El Paso, Texas, know that there are many strategies, including sedation dentistry, that you can use to feel more confident about your upcoming dental visit. Here are our top five tips for when you’re anxious about your dental appointment.
1. Talk to us
One of the most common sources of dental fear is not knowing what to expect. If you’re feeling uneasy about a procedure, we’re more than happy to explain it in more detail with you. We can share what you can expect from the procedure, why you’ll benefit from it, and how you can expect to feel afterward.
Depending on what procedure you need, we can also explain the steps we’re taking as we go along to make sure you’re comfortable throughout your procedure. Knowledge can be empowering, and sometimes just knowing what to expect before, during, and after your procedure eases the fear of the unknown.
2. Distract yourself
Sometimes thinking about the thing that makes you nervous can make you feel more nervous. In this case, distractions can work quite well to ease your mind. Here are a few ideas to distract yourself while in the dentist’s chair:
- Wear earphones and listen to an audiobook
- Listen to music
- Squeeze a stress ball
- Meditate, or listen to guided meditations through your earphones
Some patients like to know step-by-step what’s happening during their procedures, and others don’t. Please let us know if you’re feeling uneasy, and we’ll do our best to accommodate your needs and keep you as relaxed as possible.
3. Identify what makes you feel uneasy
Can you pinpoint the source of your unease? For many people, it comes down to two things: sounds of the dental equipment and fear of the pain. Once you identify what’s making you feel nervous, we can help you find the right solution.
For example, if the sounds of the tools bother you, we suggest wearing noise-canceling headphones. If fear of pain is making you nervous, we can discuss your anesthetic and sedation options.
4. Schedule your appointment earlier in the day
Another tip to combat unease is to schedule your appointment earlier in the day. This can help eliminate the stress that can be caused by thinking about your procedure all day long. Once your appointment is over, you can continue on with your day.
5. Explore sedation options
We offer sedation dentistry, which can help relax you when the above-listed strategies just aren’t enough. Laughing gas, or nitrous oxide, is a popular sedation option. The colorless, odorless gas is mixed with oxygen, and you simply breathe it in during your procedure.
Nitrous oxide is a mild sedative that slows down your nervous system, which means you feel relaxed and calm throughout your appointment. Another advantage is that as quickly as it takes effect, the effects end quickly, too, so you can drive yourself home afterward.
Bottom line: Don’t let uneasiness prevent you from getting needed dental care. Call Dr. Darj today to find out how we can make your visit more relaxing. You can reach us at 915-213-4097 or book through our online portal.