Thursday, August 20, 2020

4 Ways To Reduce Your Anxiety At An Emergency Dentist

We all know that going to the dentist, while necessary, can be a nerve-wracking experience. The sensation of tools digging and drilling into your teeth is uncomfortable at best. For some people, however, anxiety at the dentist can be disproportional and may result in a lot of distress and even absenteeism. If your feelings of anxiety are causing you crippling stress or deterring you from going to the dentist, then you may be suffering from dental anxiety.

Dental anxiety is unsurprisingly common and can exacerbate dental and oral health issues. Continue reading to find out if you're suffering from dental anxiety, and how you can reduce it.

How To Tell If You Have Dental Anxiety

For some people, identifying dental anxiety may not be so apparent because the symptoms felt may be subtle or seemingly unrelated to the condition. If you are experiencing one or a combination of the following factors, then you may have dental anxiety:
  • Profuse sweating
  • A rapid heartbeat
  • Feelings of faintness (or fainting)
  • Apparent signs of distress such as signs of crying or panic
  • Behavioral coping mechanisms such as withdrawal and the use of humor or aggression to mask feelings of anxiety.
Tip 1 - Bring Support Along

Coping with dental anxiety shouldn't be done alone. Bring a friend or family member who makes you feel safe, supported, and at peace during difficult and stress-inducing times - be sure to ask them ahead of time. This support person should be able to keep you calm and reassure you; they may be able to help you using relaxation techniques, or distract you using humor or intrigue, or through some other means.

If the dental practice permits it, they may be able to be in the room with you while the procedure is being performed, or they could wait in the waiting room until you're finished.

Tip 2 - Communication is Key

While staff at dental practices endeavor to create a relaxing, calming, and caring atmosphere, sometimes it isn't enough to defeat anxious feelings. If you're still feeling anxious, then we recommend that you communicate these feelings to both the dentist and their assistant.

By expressing your feelings, they will become aware of your anxiety and subsequently adapt their procedures to be more supportive by avoiding your triggers, working through your fears, and making the procedure as easy as possible. It is essential that you never feel ashamed to admit your feelings of anxiety. Dental teams are trained and deal with dental anxiety frequently.

Tip 3 - Relaxation Techniques

Through the use of easy to do relaxation techniques, you can reduce or eliminate feelings of anxiety yourself. The best thing about these relief techniques is that they become more useful the more you use them!

Deep breathing

This technique involves sitting down and taking a series of deep, controlled breaths. Redirecting your focus to your breathing takes your focus off of your anxiety, helping you to become calm and relaxed. On top of this, deep breathing can lower your blood pressure and heart rate, which is extremely useful for reducing stress and anxiety.


This process involves the use of your imagination. By taking a few deep breaths and closing your eyes, you can use your imagination to substitute the dentist's room with a relaxing environment, your favorite place, or even home. Furthermore, as an alternative, you could recall some happy or exciting memories.

Tip 4 - Use Some Distractions During Your Appointment

While waiting for your appointment, it becomes easy to fixate on the feelings of fear you may be experiencing, which if left unmanaged, can become worse. If there aren't suitable distractions in the waiting room, then it is crucial then that you bring something or someone along with you that can effectively distract you from your anxiety.

If you are unable to bring along a support person, then we recommend that you bring something highly distracting. Such things may include your phone so that you may watch a show or movie, or listen to an audiobook or podcast. Alternatively, you may also want to consider bringing a book of crossword puzzles/sudoku, your favorite book, magazine, or newspaper. Free Wi-Fi is the best part about going to clinics. They don’t give you magazines to read to distract yourself. They know that you’ve got enough distractions on your phone. And all you need is a high speed WiFi and you’re all set. That’s exactly what you get when you visit Emergency Dentist San Diego’s clinics.


To sum things up, dental anxiety is a common variant of anxiety that causes profuse sweating, an elevated heartbeat, feelings of faintness, feelings of stress and panic, and absenteeism when visiting the dentist. Overcoming dental anxiety is very much possible through a combination of different strategies. First and foremost, we recommend bringing a support person; or if this isn't possible, you can administer relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and visualization to keep your anxiety under control. Furthermore, fun and entertaining distractions such as TV shows, movies, books, and the news can eliminate feelings of anxiety.

If you suspect you might have dental anxiety, communicate this with the dental team, so that they can adjust their approach and make you feel safe, secure, and comfortable.

This is a guest blog entry.

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