Getting Anxiety About Your Dental Surgery? 4 Tips to Calm Yourself

Getting Anxiety About Your Dental Surgery? 4 Tips to Calm Yourself

Anxiety about dental surgery is incredibly common, but sometimes it’s difficult to overcome that dental anxiety, so you feel good about your appointment. Instead of letting your nerves and worry get the best of you, use the following tips to stay calm before a procedure. The first step is knowing that you can overcome it and have a great visit.

1. Use Deep Breathing ExercisesPhoto by Geo Days on Unsplash

With upwards of 60% of people saying they experience dental anxiety and as much as 10% having a severe dental phobia, you’re not alone. Yet, your oral health is important. A simple tip for calming yourself before a procedure is to try deep breathing exercises. These help quiet your mind, soothe your nerves, and give you a sense of peace and balance. A simple 4-7-8 technique works well. 

Breathe in slowly first, for a count of four, hold for a count of seven, and then you can breathe out through your mouth for a total count of eight. Repeat this at least four times in a row. You can also explore these other deep breathing exercises.

2. Ask for Sedation or Anesthesia for Dental Surgery

Dentists know that dental surgery can be scary, but they want you to feel safe and relaxed. If your anxiety about the dental chair is still getting the best of you, request conscious sedation or general anesthesia for your procedure. 

Conscious sedation keeps you awake, but you’ll take a sedative that keeps you in a more relaxed state of mind. For severe anxiety, general anesthesia works best. You sleep through the procedure. Talk with your dentist to see if these options are right for you.

3. Reduce Dental Anxiety With a Distraction

While not always possible, talk with your dentist about using distractions to reduce anxiety during your procedure. This might involve using headphones or earbuds to listen to music, watching a TV in the room, inviting a friend in to talk to you, listening to an audiobook, or anything else that won’t interfere with the procedure. 

4. Meditate During Dental Surgery

Your mind isn’t in the calmest state when you’re dealing with anxiety, but try practicing meditation before your procedure. Find a method or positive thinking technique that works well for you, such as mindfulness, deep breathing, visualization, gratitude, or body scanning. Then, when you’re in the chair, meditate to relax and distract yourself from what’s going on.

Consider asking your dentist if you can use earbuds to listen to soothing sounds or music during the meditation to stay focused.

A great way to reduce dental anxiety before any dental surgery is by understanding the procedure. Contact us at any time, especially if you have any questions or concerns about how to make your visit more comfortable.