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The Complete Guide That Makes Coping With Dental Anxiety Simple

The Complete Guide That Makes Coping With Dental Anxiety Simple

Approximately 36% of Americans are victims of dental anxiety, while around 12% suffer from extreme dental fear.

Most people experiencing this fear avoid visiting a dentist until their dental problems become severe.

If you’re among such people, your fear is understandable. The anxiety is caused by fear of pain, trust issues, previous traumatic experiences, and history of generalized anxiety disorder. However, regular dental visits are essential in maintaining healthy gums and teeth.

Rather than postponing your dental visits, here is the complete guide that simplifies coping with dental anxiety.

Talk to Your Dentist and Ask Questions

Don’t hesitate to talk about your concerns to your best dentist. They can guide you to make the process easier. A dentist will explain each step from the start to the end to understand what to expect.

They offer recommendations and techniques to assist you in relaxing and feeling more at ease during the appointment.

During the procedure, don’t be afraid to ask experts to explain what they’re doing. Their voice is often enough to help you relax during dental work.

Use Mindfulness Techniques

Deep breathing exercises relax your mind and help you feel calmer. The exercise helps minimize anxiety during dental appointments.

If you are anxious during a dental appointment, close your eyes and breathe slowly through your nose. Exhale softly via your mouth after holding your breath for a few seconds. Do this activity several times.

You can also do a body scan. Here, you concentrate on relaxing your body muscles one body part at a time. Start with your head, before heading down to your feet.

Bring a Loved One

The support of friends or relatives might help calm your mind.

Inform your local dentist you are going with someone to the exam room. Even if you can’t converse with the person during the appointment, their presence can make you feel comfortable, safe, and relaxed, making the whole process easy.

Distract Your Mind

Taking your mind off the dental exam may seem difficult when you’re nervous, but there are some things you can do to distract your thoughts. Wear headphones. If the sound of the dental tools bothers you, carry your earphones to listen to your favorite audiobook or music.

If you don’t have earphones, use the televisions in the dental offices. Alternatively, you can keep yourself busy by squeezing a stress ball or playing with other handheld items, such as a fidget spinner.


Anxiety can worsen while sitting in the waiting room. In this case, meditation is a simple practice to promote calmness and reduce stress.

Meditation involves a state of heightened focus, awareness, and muscle relaxation that you can achieve anywhere. While seated, close your eyes or focus on an object to allow your body to relax completely.

Arrive on Time

The last thing you want is a long wait before seeing a dental expert.

Being too early for your appointment gives you more time to focus on your dental fears. If you arrive early, carry a magazine to read to distract your imagination.

Guided Imagery

Visualizing happy moments while seated in the dentist’s office is one effective way to help calm yourself. You can go to your happy place using your mind. Think of positive or funny memories.

Nostalgia can help you feel happier and relax your mind.

Medication and Sedation

Your dentist can prescribe a short-acting anti-anxiety medication for moderate anxiety. It helps lessen anxiety before an appointment. You can take the medication at least one hour before your visit.

Conscious sedation involves taking an oral sedative a few hours before your dental appointment. It’s unlike general anesthesia, where you sleep during the appointment. With this sedative, you remain conscious and responsive but very relaxed.

General Anesthesia

This involves being fully unconscious or asleep during the dental procedure, and it is a good option if you have severe anxiety. If this is your preference, you need to be dealing with an expert who has received specialized training.

If you’re using insurance to pay for your dental bills, check with your insurer to see if they offer coverage for general anesthesia since some providers may not cover this benefit.

Hypnosis and Therapy

This involves silencing the conscious mind and creating a state of calmness. It is a guided practice that helps you attain a trance state. The hypnotherapist uses the power of suggestion to contain your anxiety.

Alternatively, you can talk to an anxiety therapists near me. A therapist will help identify the cause of your fear and guide you toward finding solutions for dealing with anxiety.


This medication is used to relieve pain. You can find them over the counter, but they can also be used during dental appointments to relieve pain and reduce anxiety.

Dental experts use nitrous oxide, which is also known as laughing gas. It is a colorless and odorless gas you breathe in before and during the dental procedure. For this medication, you must also confirm with your insurer to see if they offer coverage.

Now You Know How to Deal With Dental Anxiety

Dental anxiety can affect both adults and children, but it is manageable, and you should keep regular checkups. Consult your dentist about possible strategies to help you feel more at ease.

Watching TV, bringing a friend or a loved one, and even alternative therapies such as hypnosis can help you relax and get through your sessions with less anxiety.

Did you enjoy reading this article? If you did, check our website for more interesting and helpful blog posts.

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