General Dentistry Tips for Dental Anxiety

General Dentistry Tips for Dental Anxiety from Santa Monica LiveWell Dentistry in Santa Monica, CAExperiencing anxiety about going in for general dentistry appointments is a common problem. While something that many people experience, fear related to visiting a dentist can hold you back from giving your teeth, mouth, and jaw the proper care. There are many strategies you can use to ease these feelings so that you can plan your next appointment with less emotional strain.

Before your appointment

Fitting a general dentistry appointment into your schedule can be stressful regardless of whether you experience dental anxiety or not. If possible, plan on giving yourself plenty of time to travel to and from your appointment, especially if you have work or other engagements on the same day. Feeling rushed only increases feelings of anxiety, but you can remove this obstacle through proper planning.

If possible, plan on bringing a friend or family member who you trust with you to the appointment. Having somewhere there to support you can help ease your mind. It may also be helpful to have them drive you to and from the appointment, so you do not have to worry about driving while feeling nervous and distracted.

Plan on showing up to the appointment a few minutes early so that you do not feel rushed but not more than about 10 minutes early. Being too early leaves more time for you to have to sit in the waiting room, which may trigger your anxiety.

During your appointment

The root of anxiety about general dentistry for many patients is a feeling of having no control over the situation; however, this need not be the case. Try actively speaking with your dentist about what will happen during the appointment. If you find that something is causing you pain or discomfort, speak up. Your dentist should be more than happy to accommodate your needs.

During times when there are items in your mouth and you can not speak, it is ok to set up a hand signal to tell your dentist you need a break. This should be agreed upon beforehand, but it can be as simple as raising your hand to ask them to stop what they are doing. It is OK to pause for a moment just to catch your breath before continuing the appointment.

Sometimes distracting yourself from the situation by bringing headphones can also help. You can listen to relaxing music, an audiobook, or anything that helps you stay calm. Again, it is OK to communicate your needs with the dentist so that they are on the same page as you during the process.

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After you have finished your general dentistry appointment it is a good idea to schedule the next one while you are still in the office. This ensures that you will already have one scheduled and will not have to worry about it until next time. Remember that feeling anxious about visiting the dentist is a common problem, and you do not have to face it alone. Telling your dentist how you feel and making sure they are willing to accommodate your needs can make a huge difference.

Request an appointment or call Santa Monica LiveWell Dentistry at 310-828-2440 for an appointment in our Santa Monica office.

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