If you suffer from a fear of dental care (also known as “dentophobia”), there are several ways to help reduce stress and anxiety before and during an office visit. Fears about the prospect of dental treatment are very common. In fact, the number of people across America who experience some level of dental anxiety is quite large. If those fears are preventing you from obtaining dental care, existing or potential dental problems could become much worse over time and ultimately necessitate even more invasive treatment. This is why it is important to be aware that there are options available to address those fears so you can maintain your oral health while feeling much less anxiety about treatment. Our cosmetic dentist in Pasadena, Dr. Arash Azarbal, offers an array of options for patients who feel anxiety and fear about the prospect of undergoing dental procedures.

Here are some tips on ways to relieve stress about dental care and feel more relaxed while visiting the dentist:

Choose a Skilled, Experienced, and Comforting Dentist Who Regularly Treats Patients with Dental Anxiety

One of the most important steps toward alleviating fears of dental care is choosing a dentist with whom you trust and feel both confident and comfortable. Researching the dentist’s experience and options they provide to enhance comfort, meeting with the dentist in person, and evaluating their general demeanor and philosophy of care can help you determine whether the dentist offers a compassionate, calming approach that can help you feel more relaxed.

Be Honest and Communicative About Your Fears and Anxieties

Please do not hesitate to communicate your fears and anxieties about prospective dental treatment to the dental team. In many cases, we can adapt our treatment protocols and overall approach to provide accommodations for patients who are under stress about undergoing a dental procedure. We can also incorporate sedation dentistry options (described below) into the treatment plan for patients who are good candidates for those options. Whether you suffer from mild or severe degrees of dental anxiety, please let us know at the outset so we can tailor the treatment process to your needs.

Ask the Dental Team About Sedation Dentistry Options

Sedation dentistry can be an extraordinarily effective way to alleviate anxiety and maximize your level of comfort and relaxation during a dental procedure. For instance: here at Pasadena Dental Aesthetics, we offer a full selection of sedation dentistry techniques that can be utilized for patients with dental anxiety. Options include nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”), oral conscious sedation, IV sedation, or general anesthesia. Dr. Azarbal can talk with you about the best option for your unique needs during your initial consultation.

Bring a Supportive Loved One With You to Your Appointment

Emotional support can be of significant help to individuals who are anxious about dental treatment. You may want to consider bringing a family member, friend, or partner to your appointment so they can help settle your nerves. Having someone with you can be quite soothing and may reduce stress to a certain degree.

Try Deep Breathing or Relaxation Exercises

Before your appointment, it can be helpful to engage in deep breathing, meditation, and muscle relaxation exercises to reduce anxiety and relax your thoughts. Even just a series of slowly inhaled breaths through the nose and out through the mouth can often help achieve a greater sense of calm.

If you would like to talk with a friendly member of our dental team about options available at our practice that can help alleviate dental anxiety, or if you are ready to schedule an appointment, please contact Pasadena Dental Aesthetics.