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How to Overcome Dental Anxiety

June 24, 2024

team and balloonsIf you haven’t been to the dentist in many years due to your fear – you aren’t alone. Dental anxiety is quite common, affecting a significant portion of the population. In fact, up to 80% of people may experience some level of dental anxiety, ranging from mild to severe, according to a study published in Medical News Today You don’t have to be ashamed to admit that the idea of going to the dentist raises your blood pressure a little, but you also don’t have to suffer! At Susan Ellison Dentistry & Cosmetics, we are passionate about creating a non-judgmental, compassionate, and relaxing environment for all of our patients – no matter their age, their anxiety level, or the type of procedure.

Conquering the Fear of the Dentist

While you may always have some level of anxiety when you have any medical procedure done (including dental), it doesn’t have to be debilitating. Over her 30 years as a dentist, Dr. Ellison has some tried and true techniques to help you sit back, relax, and even enjoy your time at the dentist. Here are just a few of our tips:

  • Open Communication. Don’t hesitate to share your fears and anxieties with us! Dr. Ellison and our team are always ready to listen and address any concerns you might have. This open dialogue can help tailor the experience to your comfort level.
  • Bring a Friend. Sometimes, having a familiar face can make all the difference. Bringing a friend or family member to your appointment can provide emotional support and help keep you calm.
  • Use Distraction Techniques. Many dental offices now offer TVs, music, or even virtual reality headsets to help distract patients from the procedure.
  • Practice Deep Breathing and Relaxation Exercises. Techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or guided imagery can help reduce anxiety. Practice these methods before and during your appointment to stay calm.
  • Consider Sedation Dentistry. For those with severe dental anxiety, sedation dentistry might be an option. Discuss with Dr. Ellison whether this could be suitable for you, as it can make the entire process much more comfortable.
  • Schedule Appointments at Convenient Times. Book your dental appointments at times when you are less likely to feel rushed or stressed. Early morning appointments can help prevent anxiety from building up throughout the day.
  • Familiarize Yourself with the Environment. If it’s your first visit or you’ve had a bad experience in the past, consider stopping by our office beforehand. A tour and meeting with our staff can help reduce fear of the unknown.
  • Use Positive Visualization. Visualize a successful and stress-free visit. Focusing on positive outcomes can help transform your dental experience into something you can manage with ease.
  • Reward Yourself. Plan something enjoyable for after your appointment. Whether it’s a favorite meal, a visit to a park, or some quiet time with a good book, having something to look forward to can help make the visit less daunting.

Relax with Dr. Ellison & Her Team

At Susan Ellison Dentistry & Cosmetics, in addition to a relaxing office setting and tv, we also have noise-canceling headphones and eye massagers that help relax the tense muscles in your head, block out the light, and play soft music. Bring your favorite playlist or audiobook to listen to during your visit.

Overcoming dental anxiety is a journey, but with these strategies, you can take significant steps towards a more comfortable and positive experience at the dentist. At Dr. Ellison’s practice, we are dedicated to ensuring that every patient feels safe, supported, and relaxed. Remember, a healthy smile is worth the effort! Don’t let fear keep you from maintaining your oral health. Schedule your appointment with us today and discover how our compassionate approach can make all the difference.

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