The dentist's office isn't a favorite place for most people. It's a place that provokes feelings of anxiety and fear. Routine checkups are important to help you maintain the health of your teeth. Fortunately, you can follow these four tips to relax at your next dental appointment.
1. Distract yourself.
Sometimes distractions are the best remedy for dental anxiety. Allowing your mind to focus on something else can make the appointment pass more quickly. Some dentist's offices have televisions which you can watch during your appointment. If your dentist doesn't have a television, you can instead bring a portable music device to listen to. Music can help you pass the time in a pleasant way. If you need something more distracting, you can also try listening to audiobooks or podcasts.
2. Try anti-anxiety medication.
Anti-anxiety medication can make dental appointments easier for those suffering from extreme anxiety. This medication is often taken orally. Since it takes some time to work, you should plan to take it at least an hour before your appointment. If you suffer from a chronic anxiety condition, you may be able to get a prescription from your general physician. If your anxiety is strictly dentist-related, your dentist may be able to prescribe you an oral sedative to be used before your appointment. If you decide to try this option, you'll need a trusted person to drive you to and from the appointment while you're impaired.
3. Ask your dentist to explain each procedure.
Uncertainty can heighten your anxiety. When you don't know what to expect, your mind is more likely to make up terrible scenarios. Take control of your next dental appointment by asking your dentist to explain each step of the exam. Most dentists will be happy to let you know that they're polishing your teeth, scraping away tartar, or numbing your gums with local anesthetic. In many cases, a little knowledge can help relieve dental phobias.
4. Try nitrous oxide.
Nitrous oxide is sometimes referred to colloquially as laughing gas. It's a type of anxiolytic drug that most dentists offer because it's safe and effective. People of all ages can safely be given nitrous oxide, and it leaves your system immediately. As soon as your dentist removes the nitrous oxide mask, you should be feeling clearheaded and normal again, which means you can drive yourself home. Nitrous oxide is a good choice for any dental appointments that require more intensive procedures, such as dental fillings or root canal therapy.
For more information, contact dental clinics like Milner Dentistry.