Almost everyone has some feelings of nervousness when thinking about visiting the dentist. We hear it all the time from our patients. But don’t worry (I know, easier said than done). It is totally normal to have a bit of anxiety (or even a lot of anxiety) before you come to our office.
In our office, we have many years of experience in dealing with nervous patients. So to help you out, we’ve compiled this quick yet effective set of tips for dealing with those inevitable nerves before your dental procedure.
- Let us know! Sometimes just saying the words, “I’m a little bit nervous” can help by normalizing the nervousness itself a little bit, which instantly releases some of that stress that has the tendency to build up in your system. It also alerts us, which is great! In fact, we might just be able to help by doing procedures a little bit differently than we normally would or even just by offering some words of encouragement and reassurance.
- Music – Ask us to turn up (or down) the music in your exam room if that helps. Or, depending on the procedure, you may even be able to listen to your own MP3 player while we work away. Ask us ahead of time to be sure the procedure will allow for this.
- Breathe – Did you know that consciously taking a breath instantly calls to action your parasympathetic nervous system which is the part of the brain responsible for calming you down? The good news is that you always have your breath with you, so don’t forget to use it! Just by paying attention to your breath, for example, how it feels coming in and going out and the other sensations it creates, you can access the calming center of your brain. An easy breathing exercise that can be used anytime, anywhere, including in the dental chair is to breathe in for 4 counts, then out for 4 counts. You will instantly feel better.
We hope you find these tips helpful in dealing with your dental fears. Just remember, you are not alone.