How to Calm Your Nerves at the Dentist

There are very few, if any, individuals who like to visit the dentist. The thought of someone probing around inside of our mouths can send anxiety levels through the roof. Add needles, numbness, and blood to the list if you are getting a dental procedure performed. Although you cannot take away all anxiety when visiting the dentist, there are a lot of things you can do in order to prepare for your next visit. From finding the perfect dental office to fit your dental needs to bringing a good book, here is some advice for making your next visit to the dentist more relaxing.


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    Find the best dentist. If you don’t already have a dentist, don’t be afraid to search around.
    • Ask friends and family members about different dental offices and who they prefer.
    • Ask about offered services. When calling around, ask the dental office questions about services offered, prices, and insurance requirements.
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    Consider finding an all in one dental office. There are many general practice dentist offices. However, all in one dental specialist offices are on the rise. This makes it much easier to have procedures completed, because they are all done under one roof.
    • When you decide to go with an all inclusive dental office, you don’t have the anxiety of visiting different clinics around town with different staff. You can get to know the staff at one location, thus making the overall experience much less stressful.
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    Research your procedure. Doing so will help you know what to expect. This should be done in moderation. Knowing what to expect at your dental visit can be reassuring. This way, you aren’t bombarded with a needle to the face, wondering what is going on.
    • Too much research can be an overload of information, including the 1 in 1 million chance of something dreadful happening.
    • Ask your dentist for information on your dental procedure. Oftentimes, your dentist will have medically accurate materials on their website. In essence, be prepared so that you can enter the dental office calm, cool, and collected.
    • Your dentist can provide you with informational websites with accurate graphs and educational materials.
    • Don't watch YouTube videos on a procedure. Watching YouTube videos of procedures is not a good idea. Most videos will not accurately depict the procedure, and each procedure is different because every patient is different.
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    Consider asking for light sedation for the procedure. If you are getting a root canal, cavity filled, or tooth pulled, you don’t have to just stick with a topical anesthetic. Even though you can’t feel (most of the time) what the dentist and assistants are doing, the noises, pressure, and anxiety of sitting in the dental chair can take a toll. Mere minutes feel like hours. To help cope with this stress and anxiety, ask your dentist about light sedation options.
    • Ask about nitrous oxide. Many dental offices offer nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to help ease patients’ nerves. Even though you are still awake, you are relaxed and stress free. Before you know it, the procedure is over!
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    Bring something to read. Sitting in a waiting room until it’s time for you to back to the dental chair for your appointment can be stressful in itself. Sitting there, your mind can begin to mull over possible outcomes, your impending procedure, and other aspects.
    • Instead of letting your mind continuously run about how nervous you are with your dental visit, read over a book or magazine instead. Most doctors offices have a great selection of magazines from which to choose.
    • Bring a book, magazine, or crossword with you to the dentist. It is always good to be prepared in case there is not a good magazine that you can find.
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    Bring a friend or a family member. Having a friend or family member in the room with you can help ease tension and nerves. Just knowing that someone else is there with you to lend support can decrease anxiety levels tremendously.
    • Call before your appointment to ask the dental staff if it is okay for someone to be in the room with you.

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Categories: Calming Techniques | Teeth and Mouth