For some people, the fear of visiting a dentist outweighs the pain of a toothache. But putting off that visit almost invariably leads to more advanced oral health problems and lengthier, more complex procedures. What many people donâ€™t realize is that they can work with their dentists to learn about and implement anxiety-relieving strategies
The most direct approach is to be straightforward with your dentist and explore various strategies for pain reduction together. Improvements in techniques, medications, and equipment over the past 30 years mean much more comfortable visits than those you might recall from childhood.
â€¢ Have your dentist agree on a â€œstopâ€ signal so you can take a time-out from the procedure.
â€¢ Avoid caffeinated beverages before your visit, as they may make you jittery.
â€¢ Listen to music on a portable music player before and during treatment.
â€¢ Practice relaxation exercises and guided imagery techniques.
Get regular dental checkups, which help you build a good rapport with your dentist and enable your dentist to catch problems early.