If you get nervous when thinking about going to the dentist, there are a number of ways you can try to stay calm. Your first step is to let your dentist know about your fears about getting dental work done so that you can work together on a plan. You can try learning deep breathing techniques to help you relax, or listen to music on a set of headphones. If you want to have someone with you, this can help you remain calm. When you are too overwhelmed to get the dental work that you need, your dentist may also suggest sedation dentistry so that you are fully relaxed during your treatment.
Talk with Your Dentist About Options
Sedation dentistry generally involves either inhaling nitrous oxide during your procedure for mild sedation, or taking a prescription medication comparable to Valium an hour before your appointment. Both medications will help you relax while you get treatment from the dentist, yet you will still be awake while you are in the office. You may not remember much of the procedure if either nitrous oxide or medication is used.
Bring a Friend With You
If you are going in for a regular cleaning and this makes you nervous, bring someone with you that you trust. There is a lot of comfort in having a friend or loved one with you at the dentist when you are nervous. In addition, if medication is going to be used, you'll want to make sure that you have a ride home because you will be drowsy after the procedure.
Listen to Relaxing Music
Music can make a big difference in how you feel during a dental procedure. If you have a smart phone and some headphones, load up your phone with some relaxing music. You can even try listening to a meditation while you are getting your dental work done. This can help you stay calm and it will take your mind off of the work that is being done in your mouth.
When you struggle to stay calm at the dentist, you can also try learn deep breathing techniques. This helps slow down your heart rate and keeps your stress response lower. Many people have a fear of the dentist, and your dentist understands that you may need extra support in order to get dental work done. Be honest about your fears and don't be afraid to speak up about any concerns you have.