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What Is Dental Anxiety and How Do You Overcome It?

If you feel anxious about going to the dentist, you’re not alone. Statistics differ, but it’s suggested as many as half the population has some degree of anxiety about going to the dentist. Whether it’s referred to dental phobia or just being nervous, it’s something we take very seriously. 

Dental anxiety can prevent you from receiving essential care when you need it most. For example, a fear of the dentist might prevent you from getting a dental infection treated. You could lose teeth or face other health issues. 

So, what is dental anxiety and how can you overcome it? 

Here are some of the best ways to manage your fear of the dentist and get the care you need. 

Identify Your Triggers

We’re all different, and your fears and worries about dental care might not be the same as the next person. One of the most important steps in overcoming your anxiety is to identify what you’re scared of and what triggers it. 

Some common anxieties centre around the sound of the drill, the smell of the dental clinic, the feeling of powerlessness during treatment or embarrassment or worry about someone being so close to your mouth. A fear could stem from a previous bad experience or come from other people around you. 

The more you understand your fears, the easier it is to identify a strategy to help you overcome them.

Plan Your Visit

At NuDental, we’ve created a relaxed environment. Our supportive team ensures everyone feels safe and comfortable. If you’re nervous about your appointment, let us know. We can book you in for a quiet time of day where you won’t feel rushed. 

Feel free to bring someone with you. Friends and family can help you feel more comfortable in moments of heightened anxiety. 

Talk About It

Talk through your fears with our dentists. Knowing about your anxieties means we can tailor your appointment or treatment better to suit your needs. We’ll go at your pace, take breaks whenever needed, and find adjustments to make you feel more relaxed and comfortable. 

Distract Yourself

You’re welcome to bring a device and headphones to listen to some music during your appointment. Distraction techniques like this can take your mind off what’s happening around you. 

Learn Coping Skills

There are lots of techniques you can use to help calm your anxious feelings during your appointment. Deep breathing slows your heart rate and reduces stress hormone levels. 

Grounding techniques that get you to focus on various things within the environment can stop negative thoughts from escalating and causing panic. 

Consider Dental Sedation

We offer dental sedation for nervous patients. With dental sedation, you remain conscious throughout your procedure. The beauty of sedation is that, although you’re awake, you’ll feel so relaxed and worry-free that all of the stress of the treatment is gone. 

Many patients find dental sedation helps them feel more relaxed about making their next appointment. Knowing that we have the means to remove anxious feelings can reduce fears. 

If you’re receiving sedation, we suggest someone accompanies you to your appointment and drives you home afterwards, as you will feel sleepy while the effects wear off. 

Nervous Patients at NuDental

We understand dental anxiety is a major problem for many patients, but we don’t want you to miss out on vital care. Our friendly team are here to help, and we’ll do everything possible to help you manage and overcome your fears. 

Get in touch today and arrange your next appointment, and let’s work together to overcome your fears. 

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