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Norge Dental Center Blog

Do You Struggle with Dental Anxiety?

Struggle with Dental Anxiety? Follow these tips for a stress-free dental visit.
At Norge Dental Center, we understand not everyone looks forward to their dental visits as much as we do. For some people, dental procedures and even routine cleanings can cause great anxiety. So, we strive to make your visit to our practice as comfortable and pleasant as possible.  From deep breaths to stress balls, we’ve gathered together our best advice for managing your dental anxiety. Next time you visit our Williamsburg office, try out these quick tips for an even more stressless appointment. 

Make a Plan 
As soon as your appointment is on the calendar, you can begin to set yourself up for success. Start by making a game plan for the day. Try easing your worry by coupling your visit with something you love—maybe a trip to your favorite coffee shop or a long walk. If you haven’t already spoken with your dentist about your procedure, be sure you are clear on the goal of the treatment before you arrive.  Sometimes, understanding the “why” makes the “how” a little less stressful. 

Bring a Friend
If you can, bring a friend or spouse to your appointment. Having someone there with you when you walk into the office can do wonders for your mood throughout your visit. Some procedures are more invasive than others, so your doctor may recommend you find a ride home with a loved one anyway.  Be sure you understand any pre-op recommendations from your dentist ahead of time. 

Talk to Your Dental Care Team 
If you’re still feeling anxious when you arrive at our office, be candid with your dentist about how you’re feeling. If your care team understands the source of your worry, there may be ways to help mitigate the situation. For example,  if you’re scared of needles, they may be able to give you a heads up to close your eyes before administering a shot. Or, if you’d feel more comfortable knowing what’s happening throughout the procedure, your dentist may be able to narrate the process. 

Create a Distraction 
One of the best ways to manage your anxiety during a dental procedure is to create a distraction for yourself. Try bringing a pair of headphones to your appointment so that you can listen to calming music or a podcast and take your mind off your mouth. When the sounds of the dental equipment are dulled, it’s often much easier to relax. Moving your muscles is another great way to release your body’s built-up stress. Since you can’t move very much during a dental procedure, you might try bringing a stress ball or two that you can grip throughout the process. 

Use Relaxation Techniques 
Before, during, and after your appointment, it’s always a good idea to take a moment to relax. Your mind and body are connected, so slowing down your thoughts can help to calm the feelings of anxiety happening in your body. Try the box breath technique—four counts to inhale, four counts to hold, four counts to exhale, and four counts to hold. By repeating this breathing exercise several times, you’ll begin to feel any pent-up tension melt away from your body. Then, close your eyes and release any tightness in your jaw and shoulders. 

Know Your Limits
Of course, if your anxiety is too high to go forward with your dental procedure, that’s okay too. Remember you have a say in your care and can always let your dentist know if you think you need to reschedule a procedure. Patients with severe anxiety may be referred to a specialist, especially for complex procedures. 
Want to learn more about the ways Norge Dental Center strives to create a positive, pleasant environment for our patients? Give us a call or request an appointment through our website.   
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