You’ve been through countless haunted houses and watch horror movie marathons without blinking an eye. Yet a trip to the dentist makes you more anxious than you care to admit. There’s no shame; many people share your unease. Still, it’s important to overcome your dental fear so you can get the care you need to keep your smile looking and feeling good.
The Drake Family Dentistry team is committed to helping you get over your fearful feelings, once and for all! We do all we can to ensure anxiety-free visits. For example, your appointments will always start on time so you won’t spend time worrying in the waiting room.
We’re also sharing here some tips that have helped other patients feel comfortable during their visits:
- Book an early appointment
- Share your concerns
- Ask for a longer appointment
- Try deep breathing
- Envision positive outcomes
- Receive dental sedation
Early Bird Avoids the Dental Fear
The longer you spend worrying about what might happen at your appointment, the more stressed you may become. To avoid this, many patients like to get their appointments out of the way early in the day. We schedule appointments as early as 8 a.m.
Talk to Our Team
It’s helpful if you share your concerns with our team, including any prior negative experiences that have contributed to your dental fear. That way, we can work together to create strategies that will help put you at ease. For instance, if you’d had past difficulties becoming numb with local anesthesia, receiving dental sedation will likely help.
Take the Time You Need
Many patients feel less dental fear if they understand exactly what will happen. We can offer you a longer appointment if requested. This way we can carefully explain all aspects of your treatment and answer any questions you have. With a longer appointment, we can also take a short break if you need one. We can suggest a signal, such as a raised hand, so we’ll know if and when you’d like a brief break.
Focus on Your Breathing
Breathing deeply and counting each breath can help alleviate dental fear. That’s because it lowers your heart rate and lessens tension. In addition, it sends signals to your brain to relax. Try practicing deep breathing exercises right before your appointment. During the appointment you can maintain the calm feeling by concentrating on all of the muscles in your body, then relaxing different groups one by one.
Think Positive Thoughts
It also helps if you can look ahead to the positive results of your procedure. For example, a dental cleaning leaves your mouth feeling clean and your your teeth looking terrific. Plus, go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back for proactively preventing cavities. Similarly, if you’re getting a restoration like a dental crown, focus on how it will improve your smile’s appearance and help you enjoy eating the foods you love.
Ask Us About Dental Sedation
Even using these strategies, you may require some extra help to relax. We can offer you two forms of soothing sedation. We can discuss your anxiety level before any procedures so you can select the one best suited to the specific situation. You can choose:
- Laughing Gas – This quickly gives you a feeling of mild euphoria when breathed in through a small mask. We can easily increase or decrease the amount you receive during your treatment. It wears off quickly too, without any lingering grogginess. It’s great for mild anxiety and non-complicated procedures.
- Oral Sedation – If you are scheduled for longer and/or more complex procedures or you have a higher level of anxiety, we can prescribe you an FDA-approved sedative to take before your appointment. You’ll arrive already feeling relaxed and stay that way throughout treatment. You’ll be groggy for a few hours, so you’ll need to arrange a ride home.
There’s no need to continue to feel dental fear! Call us today at 956-450-7375 for a stress-free appointment in our Harlingen, TX office.