Fear of the dentist is a common affliction that many patients suffer from. But dental anxiety in Arlington Heights, IL, could lead to worsening dental conditions if you let it. Failure to attend routine cleanings or necessary treatment appointments can often result in the spread of damage and decay in your mouth. Even if you brush and floss regularly, you can still develop dental problems. While it’s natural to feel apprehensive about your dental appointment, it’s no reason not to take care of your oral health.
How to Overcome Dental Anxiety in Arlington Heights, IL
Overcoming anxiety is always easier said than done. But if you let dental anxiety win, then you could end up losing teeth or even suffering gum disease and other health complications. Most dental offices understand the fear that can come with dental appointments, especially for invasive procedures. If you are upfront about your worries, your dentist will work with you to help you get the treatment you need.
Ask Questions Ahead of Time
Many cases of dental anxiety come from fear of the unknown. The more you understand about your upcoming appointment and why you need treatment, the more at ease you may feel. If you’re worried about your treatment, schedule a consultation appointment ahead of time. During this appointment, you can ask questions about your procedure and get a better understanding of what to expect. It’s also a good idea to ask for an extended appointment time. This can help you feel more comfortable and not rushed before your appointment.
Ask About Sedation Dentistry
If you still feel apprehensive about your appointment after your consultation, ask your dentist about the possibility of sedation dentistry. Nitrous oxide (a.k.a laughing gas) may be available to help. Nitrous oxide provides a calming effect on patients while still allowing them to maintain awareness and consciousness. The effects of sedation are generally only felt while actively breathing in the gas. Most patients experience a quick recovery. However, it’s still a good idea to bring along a trusted friend or family member to drive you home after your procedure.
Make Yourself Comfortable
Your dentist wants you to get the treatment you need, and they’ll do what they can to help you feel more comfortable. Some patients experience anxiety due to the sounds in the dental office. To help combat this, you may want to bring along some headphones and a playlist of music while you’re in the chair. You can also talk to your dentist ahead of time for other ways to help improve your comfort and help you relax. For example, you may want to bring a blanket for your legs or use a sleeping mask to help you block out what’s going on. However, some items, such as a head pillow, may get in the way of treatment. So always check with your dentist first to ensure you have a comfortable and safe appointment.
If you have a fear of the dentist, AH Smiles is here to help. We understand how dental anxiety can affect your appointments, and we work hard to provide comfort and sedation when needed. Call us today at (847) 230-9703 to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we could help you overcome your fear of the dentist.