Overcome Dental Anxiety by Finding the Right Chattanooga Dentist
Does the thought of stepping into a dental office cause you immediate waves of anxiety? If so you’re not alone by any stretch. Many people deal with a very real fear of the dentist that can stem from all sorts of things. Some people deal with fear of injections or pain in general, others may feel embarrassment associated with the state of their teeth, and others still have suffered through negative dental experiences in the past that cause dental anxiety. Some people struggle with anxiety so severe that it keeps them from seeing a dentist regularly which only exacerbates the issues.
Find the Right Chattanooga Dentist
So how do you overcome this dental anxiety or fear of the dentist? There are lots of things you can do, but we think the number one line of defense should be to find a Chattanooga dentist who is just right for you. When you take the time to find a dentist who is able to make you feel comfortable when you’re in his or her care, you’ll be surprised at how much of your dental anxiety or fear will melt away.
Lots of factors can come into play when it comes to your comfort level at the dentist’s office. The atmosphere, the support staff, and the overall feel of the practice can go a long way in helping to ensure your comfort. It also helps to find a dentist who you trust who does great work, has experienced assistants, and who takes the time to discuss things with you to ease your worries about any necessary treatments or procedures.
Another way to combat dental anxiety is to practice relaxation techniques to help actively calm your mind and body. Deep breathing is a great place to start, as it is instrumental in relaxing tense muscles. Focusing your mind on your breath is also a great way to meditate and center yourself. Counting your breaths can serve as a great source of distraction while you’re undergoing dental procedures that have you stressed, plus this mindful breathing practice also helps to lower heart rate. You can also try systematically relaxing all the muscles in your body from head to toe, starting with the face and neck, and then the shoulders and so on.
Laughing Gas & Anesthesia
Some dentists will use nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, to help relax patients who suffer from dental anxiety. Many patients find that the use of laughing gas is enough to quell their fears surrounding dental experiences. Talk with your Chattanooga dentist about this option if you are feeling extra anxious about your dental visit.
Some dental procedures that are more involved may require anesthesia, in which case your provider will discuss with you the options available. One option that’s sometimes available is conscious sedation. This type of anesthesia involves the use of drugs that depress the central nervous system allowing for the dental procedure to be carried out while the patient is still conscious and able to communicate with the dental staff during the visit. Different levels of sedation through anesthesia are often available during more invasive dental procedures.
Don’t Skip the Dentist
No matter how you address your fear of the dentist or dental anxiety, be sure it doesn’t get so overwhelming that it keeps you from your regularly scheduled visits. Skipping out on cleanings and dental exams can lead to dental problems that are unpleasant and costly to address, and those experiences will only contribute to any negative feelings you may have about seeking dental work. If you are looking for an experienced and caring dental staff in the Chattanooga area, contact our team at Tedford Family Dentistry. We work hard to create an environment in which our patients can feel safe and comfortable while receiving the quality dental care they deserve.