Dental anxiety is a reality for a large portion of the population. These dental fears can be due to a variety of reasons. For some people, a past negative dental experience clouds their ability to imagine ever having a positive one. Fear of pain is another leading cause of dental anxiety. Other patients may feel a sense of anxiety due to their inability to control what is happening in their mouths during the appointment. Sometimes the fear of revealing to another person what’s going on in your mouth can lead to a fear of embarrassment or exposure.
There are many levels of dental phobia. Mild cases of dental phobia are quite common. Mild dental phobia may be demonstrated by feeling nervous in the waiting room or while being examined and treated. Extreme dental phobia is less common. Extreme dental phobia displays itself typically through physical illness, crying, panic, loss of breath and lack of sleep leading up to your appointment.
In all cases of dental phobia, they can deter you from wanting to seek dental treatment that you want or need. The emotional stress that you may experience may far outweigh the desire and need for dental treatment. When this dental avoidance happens, your teeth suffer.
In order to cope with dental anxiety most people typically choose the path of least resistance and ignore the necessary treatment. Teeth do not naturally just get better if there is a problem. Unfortunately, many dental issues need treatment in order for healing and restoration to take place.
Ways you can naturally tackle your dental fears and find victory over your dental anxiety:
Redirect Your Thoughts
Take control of your thought life and direct your thoughts to something other than your dental fears. If possible, wear headphones and focus on your favorite music, book or motivational speaker while getting your treatment. Hold something in your hands that you can focus on. A stress ball is a great way to distract your thoughts as you focus on squeezing the ball. Consider counting how many times you squeeze or sing a song in your head and squeeze your ball to the beat. A visualization is a great tool for many stressful situations. Consider closing your eyes and imagining you are someplace that makes you happy!
Connect your mind to your body through practicing mindfulness. Be mindful of your breath. Inhale slowly while counting. Now exhale at the same speed and with the same counted number. Scan your body and concentrate on each muscle that comes to mind. A great place to begin your scanning is with your tongue. Notice if it’s forcefully “resting” on the top of your mouth. Relax your tongue by opening your mouth and allowing it to rest at the bottom of your mouth.
There is a whole army of essential oils waiting to come to your “AID” to help you combat your dental fears.
Consider inhaling any of the following oils directly from the bottle. You may also choose to apply an oil to your hands, tissue or cotton wick and inhale. If you have a diffuser you can enjoy the light scent that permeates the entire room.
Essential Oils For Your Pleasure and Relaxation
- Clary Sage
If All Else Fails, Sedate!
Sedation dentistry will assist you in achieving a relaxing experience at the dental office. An appropriate level of medication is used as therapy to tackle your dental anxiety.
Dr. Allen Glied at Les Belles NYC is a double-certified Diplomate from the Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Board of Anesthesia. He has the experience and expertise to make this procedure go as smoothly and comfortably as possible.
At Les Belles NYC, we provide a relaxing and stress-free dental environment for all of our patients. Our dental professionals will listen to all of your dental concerns and work with you to determine the best and most relaxing way for you to get the dental treatment you need or want.