How to Handle Fear of Dental Procedures
Fear of dental procedures is common with 20% of the population. Patients with high levels of anxiety often put off necessary procedures, leading to more comprehensive actions required, and more time in the oral surgeon’s chair. Like any fear, there are ways to manage your anxiety and make your experience pleasant and successful.
Be comfortable with your dental provider – The first thing you should do, as a patient, is talk to your oral surgeon about your fear. If your doctor is in any way dismissive of your unease, then it is not the right surgeon for you.
Come in for a consultation – Taking time to be comfortable with your oral surgeon, the staff, and the offices is important. Many people react badly to the smell of an office – take your time and make sure you are at ease in your surroundings. Patients with higher anxiety levels sometimes bring a loved one or trusted friend along.
Ask questions – Your surgeon is there to answer all your questions and walk you through your procedure. You can think of questions before your consultation or call back afterwards if you think of something you forgot.
Air out your fears – You are not alone in your fear of dental procedures and your surgeon will understand. Keeping your doctor informed guarantees he or she will take the time to make sure you are as comfortable as you can be.
Keep away from Internet horror stories – The Internet provides a never-ending source of information, but often patients who are scared of a dental procedure only find the horror stories. If you do find yourself fixating on someone else’s bad experience, be sure to bring it up with your oral surgeon.
Remember why you’re there – Whether it is pain and discomfort or aesthetic changes that brought you to your oral surgeon, keep in mind the light at the end of the tunnel: your pain will be alleviated and you will have healthy teeth and a happy smile.
Relax – There are many tips and tricks to help you relax. Some people prefer listening to their own music while others use breathing techniques and meditation. Find what is right for you and go in armed to conquer your fear. Take a few minutes to read about breathing exercises.
Keep in mind that according to surveys taken before and after dental procedures, the pain is not as bad as you are imagining. Contact Dr. Elias at Mamaroneck Oral Surgery to talk about your fears and concerns and schedule a consultation, (914) 873-0045