If you feel nervous or anxious about dental treatment, you are not alone. Millions of people experience dental anxiety, and may put off needed treatment because they are fearful of dental visits. This anxiety might stem from an early childhood traumatic experience, or from another issue such as posttraumatic stress or a mood or anxiety disorder.
Dr. Ricardo Hernandez, a Pacific Beach dentist at PB Smile Studio, is committed to providing exceptional dental care. He wants every patient — young or old — to feel comfortable and relaxed during their entire visit. Here, he shares some of his best tips for reducing dental anxiety and making treatment a positive experience.
Communication Is Key
When you feel tense or apprehensive, speak up! Let Dr. Hernandez and our friendly team know that you are uneasy; you can even let us know ahead of time when you call to schedule your appointment. Making us aware of your anxiety enables us to adapt your treatment to your needs, and to meet you where you are emotionally. We will explain what you can expect to feel and for how long. We can also agree on some cues to use if you need to stop treatment at any time or take a break.
Try to make an appointment during a time of the week or day when you are least likely to feel rushed, stressed or frazzled. Depending on your personal preference, this might be first thing in the morning or later in the afternoon. We can also accommodate you on Saturdays by appointment only.
To avoid thinking about what happens during your treatment, distract yourself by watching television on one of our flat screens. If you want to block out the sound of the dental drill, bring in a pair of headphones and crank up your favorite relaxing music, audiobook or podcast. Or, simply practice some deep breathing and visualization techniques — imagine you are on a warm beach somewhere, instead of in the treatment chair.
Bring Someone You Trust
Need a little extra moral support? Bring a family member or close friend that is comfortable with dental visits, and have them sit with you during treatment.
Inquire about Sedation Techniques
Sedative medications are available if you cannot control your stress and anxiety. Dr. Hernandez can discuss your options with you ahead of time and recommend the best option for your needs.
Contact Dr. Hernandez Today
For more tips to reduce dental anxiety, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Hernandez for general or cosmetic dental care, please contact PB Smile Studio at 858-272-6047. We look forward to speaking with you.