Over 75% of all adults experience some form of dental anxiety or fear, but here at Dr. Carol E. Follette’s Santa Monica dental office, we think it’s worth asking whether those fears are justified. Sure, if patients were traveling back in time 200 years to have a sore tooth extracted, we’d understand the fear of pain, but in the 21st Century, our profession has changed so much that pain is hardly the concern it was centuries or even decades ago.
Still, we know that simply saying that pain management and prevention have improved won’t be enough to persuade many people who are feeling anxious about visiting the dentist. Knowing this, we’ve put together this list of pre-dentist activities that can help ease dental fears ahead of an appointment.
We want you to be calm and comfortable before, during, and after your visit to Dr. Follette’s office, and the following are few things you can do to help ensure that happens:
#1 Talk About It (With Your Dentist)
The best way to get through your fears and anxieties is to talk them through with your dentist. Chances are, you’ve built up something to be much worse in your head, and your dentist can help you understand the truth of a procedure. Knowing what’s coming and preparing for it creates much less anxiety than imagining something much worse than it is. Talk through your fears, and it can help you get past them!
#2 Distract Yourself
There are ways to distract yourself during a procedure, such as wearing earbuds to listen to music. For some people, it’s the sound of dental instruments that are stressful, so blocking them out can help you get past what may be the toughest part of any noisy procedure.
#3 Use Mindful Relaxation Techniques
It may sound cheesy, but meditating before a dental appointment or procedure, including relaxation and deep breathing techniques, can do wonders for your physical and mental state. During the procedure, keep taking deep breaths and try to stay calm.
#4 Don’t Skip Appointments
It may sound counterintuitive to visit the dentist more often to avoid dealing with dental anxiety, but visiting the dentist regularly lowers your risk of needing any major dental work done in the first place. If you can just visit Dr. Follette’s office for regular cleanings, you’ll have fewer cavities, less gum disease, and a lower risk for major dental problems. If the major procedures are what scare you, seeing your dentist every six months is the best way to make sure those major procedures aren’t necessary in the first place.
Choosing the Right Dentist for Dental Anxiety Concerns
Of course, choosing the right Santa Monica mercury-free dentist can go a long way toward nipping those anxieties in the bud, too. Dr. Follette wants to make sure you’re comfortable and calm during your doctor appointments, and she and her staff will do everything they can to be sure that’s the case. If you have any questions about anything, never hesitate to call the office and talk through your concerns.
And please trust us that dentistry is not what it was in the old days! It is a much smoother, much more comfortable experience than it once was. Dr. Follette and her staff have made sure of that.