Overcoming Dental Anxiety

woman in glasses worried about overcoming her dental anxiety

Does going to the dentist make you anxious? You’re not alone! An estimated 40 million people suffer from some level of fear of the dentist. Avoiding dental appointments isn’t the answer, though. So how can you overcome your dental anxiety and get the dental care you need? We’ve got some tips to help you feel calmer at the dentist.

Bring a Friend

Like the Beatles said, you can “get by with a little help from [your] friends.” When it’s time to come to the dentist and your anxiety is sky-high, enlist someone you trust to come along. Whether it’s a friend or a family member, having someone you know in the room with you can help ease your nerves. They can talk to you to keep you distracted or just serve as a calming presence. Either way, that alone can help you feel more relaxed in the dental chair while we work.

Tell Your Dentist

Let us know! This one is easy. Just give Dr. Kim and the Laulani Dental Care team a heads up that you have dental anxiety. This lets us know that we need to work at a pace that keeps you comfortable. If asking you more frequently how you’re doing helps, let us know. Maybe you need to take frequent breaks and get up to walk around. We’re happy to do whatever helps ease your nerves.

Relaxation Techniques

If you regularly find that relaxation techniques like meditation or listening to music helps you stay calm, try them when you’re at the dentist. Controlled breathing can help you get into a meditative state while we work. Bring your own headphones or borrow a pair of our noise-canceling headphones to listen to your favorite tunes and tune us out.

Sedation: When All Else Fails

Sometimes dental anxiety is so overwhelming that these general techniques just won’t work. In that case, let us know and we can offer you sedation like nitrous oxide to keep you relaxed during your procedure. If your anxiety stems from the anesthesia shot, don’t worry – we use the DentalVibe® anesthesia delivery system, which blocks pain signals from the brain for a painless injection.

If you’ve been putting off dental work because of fear of the dentist, call Laulani Dental Care today. Our friendly team members will talk with you about your concerns and find a way to help you get the care you need while keep you calm and comfortable throughout your appointment.