7 Tips to Overcome Dental Anxiety

Few of us get excited about a dental appointment, but many people are terrified of the experience. This is understandable — some dental procedures can be uncomfortable or downright painful. The combination of not being able to see what’s happening and fearing additional pain can keep you away from the dentist's chair. Putting off dental visits, though, can have serious consequences for your teeth and for your overall health. 

Our team at Wilhelm Dental Group understands that a trip to the dentist can be scary. Our goal is for everyone to have a positive and comfortable experience at the dentist, and for you to return regularly to optimize your oral health. That’s the reason Drs. Eric and John Wilhelm offer our patients pain-free dental work. If you’re afraid to tackle your dental procedure head-on, we can provide numbing gels and local anesthesia to ease your experience. But there are things you can do, too. Check out our tips for a comfortable and productive experience below. 

Overcoming Dental Anxiety

As unpleasant as it may seem, you do need to go to the dentist regularly. You can expect that our team does everything within our power to make you feel at ease, but we won’t be able to completely take away your fear. But that’s okay -— here are seven tips for what you can do to help your experience be the best it can be. 

1. Invite a friend or loved one to come with you

Whether it’s a romantic partner, a sibling, or your next door neighbor, we encourage you to find someone you trust to tag along to your appointment. You may not be able to have more than one or two people in the room with you, but if this makes you feel more at ease, we invite your loved one to join us. 

2. Bring along your favorite audiobook or a music player

Since we won’t have the privilege of talking with you during your procedure, you’re welcome to listen to something that will take your mind off where you are and what’s going on. If you don’t know where to start, try a Google search for interesting and engaging stories and podcasts.

3. Try a couple of breathing exercises

This may seem obvious to some, but breathing exercises are something you can do at any time — including in our waiting room, as well as while you’re in the chair. Slowly take a deep breath in through your nose, hold it for a few seconds, then slowly release that breath out through your mouth. Then do it again several times. It may be basic, but it’s effective. For more specific techniques, a Google search can turn up many more.

4. Talk to us

Bad experiences, whether they’re physical or financial, can traumatize you, and we understand that. We’re interested in hearing about your experiences, and we relish the opportunity to help reassure you.

5. Ask us anything about your procedure or our suggestions for treatment

While your oral health is our priority, your peace of mind is equally important to us. We love what we do, and we enjoy explaining our various procedures to our deserving patients. We’ll tell you everything from beginning to end, and we look forward to earning your trust in the process.

6. Listen to stand-up while you wait

Everyone’s heard the old adage, ‘laughter is the best medicine.’ This is certainly true when it comes to treating your fear of the dentist. Try listening to funny content as you’re on your way to our offices and while you’re waiting for your appointment. Laughing relaxes you, and that can help us to help you on your journey to optimum oral health. 

7. Talk to a therapist

This might seem an extreme step to take, but hear us out: The health of your teeth and mouth are quintessential to your overall health, as oral bacteria can make their way into your bloodstream and create more problems than just tooth decay. We don’t want your health to be compromised in any way, for any reason. A trained and experienced psychotherapist can meet you where you are, psychologically speaking, and help you to conquer your fear of the dentist’s office. 

We understand and appreciate that going to the dentist isn’t a walk in the park for everyone. Let us help you with your concerns about pain. Contact us for an appointment today by calling us at 301-453-8944 or using our online scheduling tool, and remember — you are stronger than your fears. 

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