When you scheduled your upcoming dental appointment, you probably felt pretty confident and pleased with yourself for taking care of your teeth and gums. But as the date looms ever closer on your calendar, that confidence is quickly replaced by feelings of nervousness and anxiety. If you’re experiencing feelings of dental anxiety before your next dental appointment, follow these three easy steps to stay relaxed throughout your visit.
1. Accept Your Anxiety (and Move On)
Have you ever met one of those people whose anxiety over a stressful upcoming event is actually a source of even more anxiety? Do you happen to be one of them? Maybe you think that you should be calm about visiting the dentist, that “normal” people don’t feel nervous or clammy or a little nauseous before a checkup and cleaning. You should understand that that many people from all different walks of life feel nervous about dental care. Your anxiety exists. Rather than getting upset about your anxious feelings, accept that they exist and that you can take actionable steps to feel better.
2. Get a Good Night’s Sleep Before the Appointment
University based studies have shown that people who have not received adequate sleep have difficulty managing their emotional responses to the world around them. You’ve probably experienced this yourself: after a night or two of poor sleep things that would not faze you under normal conditions now evoke an intense emotional response. Similarly, if you sleep poorly the night before a dental procedure (which is easy to do if you’re anxious), that anxiety will feel even more intense the next morning. Take steps to relax the night before your appointment: an over-the-counter sleep aid (just be sure not to take them as a matter of habit), a cup of passionflower, chamomile, or lemon balm tea, and a hot bath before bed can help you feel calm and sleep soundly.
3. Talk to Your Dentist about Dental Sedation
You know why your dentist offers sedation dentistry? Because he truly wants you to feel comfortable and relaxed throughout your procedure. The more at ease you are, the more efficiently your dentist or hygienist can perform the work at hand, whether it’s a routine cleaning, a periodontal maintenance visit, a root canal, or placing a CEREC crown. The better you feel about your visit, the more likely you are to continue seeking regular dental care and the healthier your smile will stay.
About Brad Greenfield, DDS
Dr. Brad Greenfield practices family, restorative, cosmetic, and sedation dentistry with a holistic approach to patient care and comfort. To schedule an appointment with your Lake Orion, MI dentist, call (248) 693-6213. We proudly serve patients of all ages in Clarkston, Auburn Hills, Oxford, Rochester Hills, and neighboring communities.