Treatment Techniques for Dental Anxiety

Treatment Techniques for Dental Anxiety

Anxiousness with dental visits is a problem that many patients experience. There are several reasons that could cause this anxiety, and with that several techniques that we could suggest to overcome or cope with it.

Dental anxiety could arise from a few different reasons. Some patients feel that they have a lack of or no control during procedures. This could be because of the physical position they are in during dental visits, reclinedback and in a vulnerable state. It could be caused by the sense of not being able to communicate, with hands, tools, and devices in their mouths. It could be caused by the feeling of claustrophobia with a dental team physically leaning overtop of the patient. Or referring back to our most recent blog post, dental anxiety could be triggered by a traumatic experience in the past.

No matter the reason for this anxiety, the team at Signal Hill Dental is knowledgeable and prepared with techniques to overcome and cope with these stresses.

Coping Strategies with the Dental Team:

1. Hand signals or gestures: Before beginning your dental procedure, discuss with your dentist a simple hand signal or gesture. This could be something as simple as lifting a hand to indicate pain or your request to stop. This will help you gain more control during the procedure.

2. Request for constant communication: If you feel uncertain not knowing what is going on inside your mouth, talk to your dentist before the procedure starts to let him or her know that you want to be informed of what is going on throughout. That way you can know what to expect as for sensations, noises, or how long a step will last.

3. Request for minimal communication: If too much information stresses you out even more, make sure to let your dental team know before they start anything. Some patients get heightened anxiety when they are given too much detail. Let your dentist know so you can focus on relaxing through the procedure.

Coping Strategies on Your Own:

1. Relaxation Breathing: During your visit, focus on your breathing. Take long and slow breaths. This will calm your heart rate, and calm your mind. Take deep breaths and focus on the fresh oxygen entering and circulating through your body.

2. Distraction: Refocus your attention elsewhere. This will prevent a tense body and mind. At the Signal Hill Dental Centre, we have televisions in each station, so feel free to let us know what you enjoy watching and we will be happy to display it for you.

3. Be Aware of your Thoughts: Many patients scare themselves more than they need to with negative and pre-determined thoughts. “This is going to hurt”, or “Something bad is going to happen”. Be conscious of your thoughts and stop thinking about them before they continue. The team at Signal Hill Dental Centre is always looking out for your best well-being, so try to relax because you are in good hands!

If you ever feel anxious during your dental visits, please just communicate this with our team. We will help you and work with you to overcome your fears so that we can achieve proper care for your oral health.