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Relax Your Patient Anxiety at Your Next Trip to the Dentist's Office

A woman covers her mouth expressing patient anxiety while three glove-covered hands reach dental tools toward her face.Feeling a little hesitant before going to the dentist or doctor is fine, but when that becomes anxiety, you have a problem. Some people avoid the dentist for so long that their oral health takes a hit. Keep reading to learn our tips for common reasons for fear of visiting the dentist and what you can do to relax. 

Common reasons for dental patient anxiety

Most people can trace their reluctance to go to the dentist to a bad experience. Some of these bad experiences include:

  • Pain - Many people fear pain and have a low threshold for tolerating pain. People’s fear of pain becomes self-fulfilling at the dentist’s office when they avoid going for so long that their gums and teeth become more sensitive. 
  • Having No Control - Some people feel exposed lying on the dental chair while their dentist pokes around in their mouth. They may feel trapped, helpless, or even claustrophobic. 
  • Shame - Other people feel embarrassed to expose their mouths to the dentist. The closeness and supposed intimacy of the experience unsettles them. 

These are tough feelings to work through, especially when you need to have your teeth cleaned. Let’s turn to what you can do.

Chat through your fears with your dentist

Communication helps most problems. Talking upfront about your concerns with your dentist can have a relaxing impact right away. Just giving voice to your concerns can ease some of your fear if you feel heard. Most dentists can offer to take steps to lower your patient anxiety. They want to work with you to make your time with them as pleasant as possible. 

Cut down on the noise

The sound of drilling is alarming for most people. Chat with your dentist about how to cut down on the noise. A white noise machine or some happy music could help you relax while your dentist gets to work on your teeth. For other people, having a TV running in the background can help. Figure out what works for you then present the idea to your dentist. 

Speak with your hands when your mouth is full

When your mouth is full, you can’t talk easily. Set up hand signals with your dentist. These signals will help you be able to take control of the situation by giving yourself a chance to stop what is happening. 

Choose a dentist that will ease your patient anxiety

A good dentist will listen to your needs and adapt to them. Taking breaks or talking you through the experience will help you get the care you need. Here at Signature Smiles Dental, we believe in treating the person, not the problem. We are here to listen to you and provide the most comfortable situation possible for you to get the quality dental care that will keep your mouth healthy. 

Give the friendly staff at Signature Smiles Dental a call today at (248) 557-5756 to set up your next appointment. 

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