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4 Ways To Alleviate Dental Anxiety

For many individuals, anxiety can be crippling, causing them to avoid taking part in important activities. Approximately 9 to 15 percent of people put off visits to the dentist because of their dental related anxiety. Fortunately, there are numerous methods that you can use to overcome your dental anxiety.

1. Practice Visualization

Visualization is a simple, but effective way to manage dental anxiety. When you experience feelings of anxiety, you envision yourself in a place that you see as calm and free of stress. As you create this safe place in your mind, make a conscious effort to take deep breaths and release stress in your body.

Many find that effective visualization takes practice. If your first attempt at visualization is not successful, try again in a calmer location when your anxiety levels are not as high.

2. Incorporate Laughing Gas into Your Dental Appointments

Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas or happy gas, is known to reduce feelings of pain and cause feelings of happiness. One positive aspect about laughing gas it that it takes effect almost as soon as you breathe it in. Once it is turned off, you return to your normal mental state within minutes.

Though laughing gas does not address the underlying issues that cause anxiety, it can help individuals be more comfortable at their dental appointments as they work through the contributing factors.

3. Prescription Drugs

Your dentist can prescribe a prescription pill to reduce your feelings of anxiety before a scheduled procedure. One drawback to this option is that patients often need someone to drive them to and from their appointments. Like laughing gas, prescription drugs do not tackle the causes behind your anxiety.

4. Therapy

If your dental anxiety is severe and you feel as if nothing can overcome it, you may be suffering from a dental phobia. Phobias are marked by feelings of abnormal fear that manifest physical symptoms of anxiety.

Attending therapy is an excellent way to identify the source of your phobia and learn coping techniques. Therapists are able to teach their patients how to change their thought process to better manage their feelings. Though the feelings still exist, patients are able to respond to them in a more productive manner.

If you suffer from dental anxiety, you may avoid going to the dentist until you absolutely have to. Preventive care makes a significant difference when it comes to maintaining optimal dental health. Learning different techniques to cope with your anxiety helps you manage your feelings so you are able to get the dental care that you need. If you're looking for a dentist in your area, visit Larsen-Haslem Dental.