Calm Yourself! Tips for Coping With Dental Anxiety

pella-comfortAs dental professionals, we understand that not all of our patients share our passion for dentistry. And we know it’s nothing personal when they express anxiety or even fear when coming into our Pella, IA family dentist office. Dr. Allen and Dr. Neumann have several years of experience treating anxious patients of all ages, ensuring optimal oral health in the process. The good news is that you have several options to make your experience more pleasant.

Comfortable Dentistry in Pella, IA

For many patients, the fear is not necessarily dental-related, but rather apprehension about experiencing pain of any kind. Knowing this, we offer Oraqix, a topical (that is, needle-free) form of anesthetic for comfort during certain procedures. Another option, “laughing gas,” is nitrous oxide for inhalation. The odor-free gas is inhaled through a small, comfortable mask placed over your nose. Many of our patients—even those who aren’t especially nervous—prefer these alternatives because they have no lasting side effects such as drowsiness. For those who have no preference, we do also have anesthesia administered by injection.

Simple Coping Methods for Dental Anxiety

Pain or no, not everyone is comfortable in the dental chair, and many do not want to take any kind of sedative that would interfere with their ability to drive. In these cases, we know many who have found great relief from these self-soothing tactics, which can be performed easily and virtually anywhere:

  • Listening to music: There’s something about an upbeat song that makes exercising more bearable, yet music can also have a calming effect that helps distract your thoughts. You’re more than welcome to bring your iPod and headphones to your appointment.
  • Deep breathing: When we experience fear, our heart rate and respiration increases dramatically. Taking deep, controlled breaths is an excellent, simple way to lower both your heart rate and breathing. Inhale deeply, hold it for five seconds, then slowly exhale. The result is almost instantaneous.
  • Progressive muscle relaxation: Start by tensing every muscle in your toes, feet, and ankles. Hold for a few seconds, then relax. Repeat this for every part of your body, from your legs to your abdomen, then to your chest, arms, and shoulders. By reducing tension, you can avoid the soreness and stiffness that comes from clenching.

About Allen Family Dentistry: Dr. Jeffrey Allen and Dr. Neumann provide comfortable dental care to patients of all ages. Call (641) 628-1121 today to schedule a checkup and cleaning, cosmetic consultation, or second-opinion visit. We are located on the west side of the historic town square in Pella, IA. Please see the map for directions.