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Anxiety about visiting the dentist is far more common than you might think. Many people fear that their visit to the dentist will be painful or that the dentist will find a major problem with their teeth. Some people even avoid visiting the dentist due to extreme fear. Whatever the reason, dental anxiety is a prevalent issue, but it can be tackled in many different ways. 

Our top tips for overcoming dentist anxiety are:

1. Communicate

Simply communicating with your dentist about your anxiety is one of the best ways to overcome your fear. Talking about your fear can help release tension and worry during your appointment. When you communicate the specific factors that give you anxiety, your dentist will likely be able to diffuse your fears and better serve your needs. 

2. Bring a Friend

Bringing a loved one along to your dentist appointment can help keep you relaxed before, during, and after the appointment. 

3. Find Distractions 

Watching TV or listening to music, a podcast, or an audiobook while your dentist is at work can distract you from your fears. When your mind is occupied with something other than your anxiety, you can feel more relaxed. 

4. Practice Relaxation Techniques

Practicing relaxation techniques like breathing exercises and meditation can help ease tension in your body before and during your dentist appointment. 

5. Use a Stress Ball 

Squeezing a stress ball in one hand in the dental chair can help relieve physical anxiety during your appointment. 

6. Focus on The Positives

Your dental appointment will have a positive impact on your oral health and the look of your smile. Focus on these benefits, rather than your fear, whenever possible. 

7. Consider Sedatives For Extreme Anxiety 

Patients with extreme anxiety may want to ask about sedation options for dental procedures. Sedation will ease your fear while the dentist is at work.

8. Schedule Strategically

If coming to the dentist’s office at a busy time adds to your anxiety, schedule your appointment at a slower time. This way, you’ll avoid the hectic energy of a busy office. 

9. Fill Out Forms Beforehand 

Ask your dentist’s office if you can complete the required paperwork ahead of time. This will give you time to relax when you arrive at the office, rather than scrambling to fill out forms.

10. Choose a Caring Practice

When it comes to dental anxiety, the dental practice you visit will make all the difference. Finding a caring practice that learns about and caters to the needs of each patient will ensure that the staff not only hears out your fears but also helps you overcome them. 

Dr. Yamaguchi at 19th Avenue Dental is passionate about providing one-on-one care with each of his patients, helping them feel comfortable and cared for. This personalized attention can help ease your dental anxiety and provide a positive experience at the dentist. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.