There’s no doubt about it. The thought of dental pain and dental anxiety often go hand in hand. Even if you’ve never had a negative dental experience, you may have seen things on the television or in movies that now conjure up feelings of anxiety and dread at the mere thought of going to the dentist.
No one likes to be uncomfortable, but to avoid seeing the dentist can often cause more dental damage than staying current on your dental exams. The good news is that modern dentistry now offers many options to help manage dental pain and anxiety. Keep reading to learn more.
Before going all-in with nitrous oxide or dental anesthesia, there are a few things that you can try at home to ease your dental anxiety. Some patients have reported that they’ve incorporated mind/body techniques ahead of their dental appointment to help reduce the stress associated with visiting the dentist. These have included relaxation techniques like guided imagery, deep breathing, and progressive relaxation. Other patients have reported that when they’ve brought their own soothing music to their appointments that it’s helped reduce their stress significantly. Many dental offices also report that patients who’ve undergone hypnotherapy and acupuncture to treat their dental anxiety have benefited greatly from those treatment modalities.
Still not convinced that at-home help is best for your dental plan? There’s no need to worry. There are many in-office options that dental practices offer to help in your quest to not feel pain or anxiety during dental procedures. The most common is a topical anesthetic that’s applied to your gums before you receive a local anesthetic for pain tolerance. Another option is to select a dental practice that utilizes laser drills. Not only has this technology been proven to reduce the need for anesthesia, but patients report that laser drills produce less dental anxiety on their part.
Your dentist wants you to have the best possible experience. To that end, openly discuss with them what your concerns are – including any previous negative experiences you’ve had – so a treatment plan can be tailored to meet your expectations.