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3 Tips to Reduce Dental Anxiety

Dental anxiety is not unusual, even for adults. While it often flares up during procedures like fillings, dental crowns, and root canals, you may experience anxiety during regular cleanings and exams too. Here are three tips to help you manage your dental anxiety:

Plan ahead

Don’t ignore your anxiety. Not accommodating it can end up making the anxiety worse. Plan and prepare beforehand if you know going to the dentist makes you anxious. That could mean scheduling an appointment on a day when you have no other errands so you don’t add to your stress. You can also try scheduling your appointment first thing in the morning. Get a good night of sleep, wear comfortable clothing, and don’t arrive hangry. Depending on the procedure, it’s a good idea to plan on relaxing for the rest of the day.

Use relaxation techniques

Anxiety can be uncomfortable and even painful. You may feel symptoms like a racing heartbeat, sweating, dizziness, and nausea. Your body believes there’s a threat and reacts accordingly. You can help your body relax with specific techniques, like deep, intentional breathing. Whenever you feel your symptoms kicking in, focus on a deep, slow breath in and a slow exhale out. Squeezing a stress ball can help you release tension in your hands, shoulders, and neck.

Consider dental sedation

If your anxiety is too hard to manage or you just want to try a new approach, ask us about dental sedation! Sedation is a safe, effective method for relieving anxiety and relaxing your body at the dentist. Dental sedation during procedures like tooth extractions is common, but we can use sedation during routine treatments too. We offer nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation. Nitrous oxide is a mild sedative administered through a nose mask. Its calming effects wear off quickly so you can drive yourself home, while oral conscious sedation is a bit stronger. If you choose oral conscious sedation, you’ll need to arrange a ride home.

Stress-free dental care at Donald Kim, DDS, Family & Cosmetic Dentistry

We understand that dental anxiety can make it hard to visit the dentist regularly. But please remember that regular cleanings and exams are essential for good oral health. Dr. Kim and our team strive to make every patient feel safe, comfortable, and relaxed. If you struggle with anxiety, please let us know so we can make accommodations for you. Please contact us if you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment at our office!


January 25, 2023 2:22 am
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