5 Ways to Tame Dental Anxiety and Get the Care You Need

It’s often played off as a joke, but fear of going to the dentist is a real thing. As many as 20% of Americans avoid getting the dental care they need due to dental anxiety. But not going to the dentist may put you at risk of more serious dental issues ones that require extensive dental work, such as tooth decay or gum disease. 

At Marina Landing Dentistry in Alameda, California, under the leadership of our dental expert, Asmita Dharia, DDS, we specialize in providing care for those with dental anxiety. We have made it our mission to minimize your fears and help you get in the dental chair so you can get the care you need. And, we wanted to share five good tips with you on how you can tame your dental anxiety.

  1. Share your fears

If you’re suffering from dental anxiety, be sure to let us know when you schedule your appointment. Dr. Dharia is trained in dental fear management and uses specific techniques to help ease your nerves, including gentle dentistry. Dr. Dharia also takes the time to explain to you in detail what she’s going to do so there are no unknowns, and she provides encouragement and positive reinforcement during your care. 

  1. Use distractions

Dr. Dharia knows better than anyone how well distractions work at keeping dental anxiety at bay, which is why she gives you your own TV monitor to watch your favorite shows during treatment. In addition, her office overlooks the Bay, which offers relaxing and distracting views.

You can also bring in headphones and listen to music or an audiobook to keep your mind on other things while Dr. Dharia goes to work. 

  1. Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is a mental state that allows you to distance yourself from your thoughts and feelings and view them in a nonjudgmental way. Similar to meditation, when practicing mindfulness you concentrate on your breathing to keep your mind in the present moment and your feelings of anxiety out of the way.

Dr. Dharia can practice these techniques with you to put your mind in the right place before you start your dental care. She can also help you relax through muscle relaxation and guided imagery techniques, tools she learned during her dental fear management training.

  1. Pick an appointment time that works for you

If you’re already anxious about going to the dentist, then you don’t want to schedule your appointment too close to your child’s school pick-up time or before an important meeting at work. Consider an early morning appointment, and be sure to keep the rest of your day clear to prevent any unnecessary stress.

  1. Ask up about sedation dentistry

At Marina Landing Dentistry, we’ve not only designed the office and exam rooms with your dental anxiety in mind, but we also offer medication options to help you feel more relaxed during your care. For sedation dentistry we offer nitrous oxide, which is a gas you breathe in through your nose to help you feel comfortable and relaxed, but not sleepy, during your dental care.

We can also talk to you about anxiety medication you may be able to take prior to your appointment.

Don’t let your dental anxiety keep you from getting the care you need. For gentle dental care from a compassionate dentist, call Marina Landing Dentistry at 510-210-5492 today. 

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