How to Manage Dental Anxiety

dental anxiety

How to Manage Dental Anxiety

Dental anxiety can affect anyone, even people who previously had no anxiety about going to the dentist. Sometimes dental anxiety occurs because of a past negative experience. Other times it is linked to a specific fear, like a fear of needles or a fear of pain. 

Whatever the reason for dental anxiety, the staff at Hicks Dental Group care about your well being, and we aim to make your experience with us as comfortable as possible. Here are some ways to help manage dental anxiety so you can feel better about your dental care.

Don’t Stay Silent

Dental anxiety may feel embarrassing to deal with, but hiding your anxiety from your dentist will result in a less than optimal experience. Speaking up about how you’re feeling is one of the first ways we can help you manage dental anxiety. Your dentist can answer all of your questions and make accommodations that will reduce your stress and anxiety.

Getting to know your dentist is another important aspect of managing dental anxiety, and goes hand in hand with speaking up. When you get to know your dentist, they will feel more like a friend than a stranger. Feeling comfortable around your dentist improves the experience and makes dental visits less intimidating. 

Distract Yourself

Distraction can help ease anxiety, as it takes your mind off of the area of concern. You can even take that distraction with you into the dental office. If you’ve got time to kill in the waiting room, instead of thinking about your procedure or checking your email (which could add to your stress), try watching something on your phone that you know will calm you, or try to get lost in a good book.

When you’re in the dental chair, headphones can be your best friend. Pop on your favorite playlist, or search up a calming playlist, or even put on an immersive audiobook or podcast. Make sure to pick something that makes you feel more relaxed. 

Wearing headphones dulls the noise of drills, cleaning equipment, and other sounds that can trigger anxiety. Be sure to let your hygienist and dentist know that you are using your headphones as a means of distraction, so that they know how to get your attention if they need to speak with you. 

Make It An Outing

If you’re able to block off some time before or after your dental appointment, treat yourself to lunch, a walk at the park, or a trip to your favorite shop. Pairing a positive experience with the dental appointment can help you manage dental anxiety by associating it with something fun. In the very least, it is a great way to clear your mind after a dental appointment, so you can take on the rest of your day. 

If going to the dentist alone feels like too much, ask a partner, a friend, or family member to come along with you, then spend some time with them afterwards. Having someone familiar with you to support you and having something fun to look forward to after your visit can help calm your dental anxiety. 

Take Good Care of Your Teeth

Taking the best possible care of your teeth will lessen your need for dental treatments beyond your routine cleanings. Using preventative medicine to your advantage will keep your teeth as healthy as possible. 

If you struggle with dental anxiety, know that the staff at Hicks Dental Group care about you and your worries. To learn more about how we can make your experience comfortable and stress-free, you can contact us by calling 928-445-6030 or texting 928-487-4583. 


Photo By Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash