Many patients have a dental anxiety issue known as “White Coat,” which can be hard to avoid. It is a real syndrome for patients who exhibit blood pressure levels above the normal range, in a clinical setting. These patients do not display it in other environments; this means that there is a fraction of the population that are affected by just going to the dentist’s office. This office can be any doctor from a specialist to even a dentist. This anxiety is hard to avoid when going to the dentist’s office. However, a patient can reduce symptoms of stress and dental anxiety; through eliminating the following main factors:
1. Choose an Office that Fits the Family’s Needs
Avoid socially awkward situations. Sometimes, it is the employees themselves at the office, that a patient may or may not get along very well – which can induce social anxiety, and that is OK! There are many dental offices out there that have excellent employees, take the time to find one that fits your family’s specific needs.
Setting yourself up for success starts with picking the right office. If you get dental anxiety at your dentist, find a new one! There is no contract that keeps you or your family with a specific dentist. If you find yourself nervous at your dentist and can point to specific people or practices at the office, it may be best to change dentists.
2. Create a Medical History
Avoid repetitive procedures and mistakes – as the patient transfers or starts fresh with a new dentist, it is helpful to create a medical history of all X-rays, records, and other materials so the new dentist can brief the patients’ dental care background. Make the doctor’s life easier by being upfront with their specific needs for dental care.
Providing a new dentist with all of the information they require will set you up for success. If you are unable to provide medical records, your dentist may want to repeat unnecessary procedures to determine your dental needs.
3. As a Parent, Talk to Your Children
The dentist office contains scary equipment and people that your children do not know. You should explain what a trip to the dentist entails to your children before their appointment. Explain the tools and procedures a dentist will use can greatly reduce your children’s dental anxiety.
4. Release Any Additional Info
Tell your dentist everything. If you have an allergy let them know before any procedure. If you are on medication that may react to anesthesia they should be aware of, tell them. The more information you provide to your dentist the better the chances that you will have a smooth experience. Providing information to your dentist will help you reduce the chance of an issue that could set off your dental anxiety.
5. Request a Favorite Hygienist
Avoid unpleasant visits, if there are employees in the office that you respond well to, be sure to ask for them. A friendly face can make a huge difference. It will make visiting the dentists’ office much more pleasant. At the same time, be friendly to the administrative assistant it goes hand in hand with that as well.
6. Bring a Friend
A good way to reduce dental anxiety is by bringing a friend or relative with you. Another person who doesn’t have a fear of a dentist can be a calming influence. You can even ask the dentist to allow them into the exam room with you.
7. Find Distractions
Usually, it is rude to be on your phone in public. However, if the goal is to reduce your level of dental anxiety, your dentist will understand. Ask if your dentist has a room with a television. Find a book that you can read during your procedure. Concentrate on your breathing. All of these techniques can serve as a distraction from whatever service you are undergoing.
Finally, as the patient, keep up with the dental care throughout the year. This maintenance keeps their hygiene in place. Also, do not hesitate to experiment with at-home cleaning techniques. Not everyone will react to conventional toothpaste; if a natural remedy works, go for it.
Maintenance will reduce the risk of needing a more complicated and scary dental procedure. A general checkup or cleaning causes much less stress than a procedure like a root canal.
Ericsson Dental Can Help Reduce Dental Anxiety
The team at Ericsson Dental will do everything in their power to help you reduce your level of stress and dental anxiety. The staff is professional, experienced, and most importantly, friendly. From the moment that you walk through the door, the staff will help you put your mind at ease. Contact Ericsson Dental today to schedule an appointment.