Dentists provide solutions to make patients comfortable during visits

Does anesthesia make you antsy? Does the chair make you cringe? If so, you’re not alone – fear of the dentist is a common one. So much so, in fact, that more than 20 million Americans avoid going to the dentist because of fear, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Thanks to advancements in the profession and a greater understanding of people’s fears, however, consumers no longer have to avoid the dentist because of anxiety, according to an article in AGD Impact. There are a number of ways that patients can work with their dentist to feel at ease about their visit, whether it’s the first or tenth time at the office.

Start by eating foods high in protein and avoiding caffeine. Foods high in protein produce a calming effect, unlike sugary foods. Also, some physicians prescribe and administer medications to help patients relax. The best defense against anxiety is knowledge; patients should discuss their treatment options, request informational materials and voice their concerns.

“Anxiety can actually contribute to additional dental problems,” says AGD spokesperson Charles Perle, DMD, FAGD. “Phobias, panic attacks and anxiety can all lead to canker sores, dry mouth, burning mouth syndrome as well as other problems. Patients should visit the dentist regularly to ensure that dental problems are caught early.”

How to stay calm prior to dental treatment:

  • Pick up the phone. Your dentist’s office staff has been trained in caring patient services; they will inform you of what to expect and answer your questions to ensure your confidence and comfort during your visit.
  • Relax. When they are nervous, some people tend to hold their breath, which decreases oxygen levels and increases feelings of panic. Focus on breathing regularly & slowly.
  • Eat up. Consuming high-protein foods produces a calming effect, unlike sugary foods.