Tips for Getting Past a Fear of the Dentist

Kids aren't the only ones to get scared when the time comes to go to the dentist. Fortunately, things have gotten much better when it comes to what can be done to make dental work as painless as possible. Here, you'll find a few tips to help you get through your next dentist appointment with less fear.

Learn About Sedation Dentistry

If you have dental work that needs to be done, you can sleep right through all of the work. Sedation dentistry is the practice of performing dental work while the patient is sedated with medication. When you wake up, all of the work is done and you'll rest a bit while you recover. Soon after, you'll be on your way home.

If your fear leaves you so paralyzed that it's difficult to even get yourself to the dentist, talk with the dentist about the situation. You may be given a pill to take before you leave your home. This pill will relax you and make the situation less stressful for you and the person driving you to your appointment.

Silence Your Senses

When you're just going in for basic treatments, like cleanings and exams, you won't need to be sedated, but it can still be uncomfortable for you. In this case, you can silence your senses. Silencing your senses means removing the things from the setting that can set off your fears. The following are some specific tips:

Smells: Nothing smells quite like a dental office. Use essential oils to block those smells before they trigger fear. Simply wipe relaxing essential oils just below your nostrils. You can get the same odor-blocking effect using a chest rub but it won't provide you with the same calming effects of the essential oils.

Sounds: Dental tools make their own unique sounds. Download a playlist to your phone and wear noise-cancelling head phones from the moment you walk into the office. This will block the sounds before they can trigger your fears.

Sights: If you get anxious when you see what's going on in the office, get yourself a sleep mask to wear. Have someone escort you to and from your appointment so that you can block all of the sights of the visit and eliminate that trigger completely.

Talk with your dentist and make sure that he or she is aware of your fears. He or she will make any adaptations possible to make you as comfortable as possible for you.