How to Reduce Your Anxiety in the Dental Office

What is anxiety?

Also known as worry, is a process by which the mind creates an unhealthy emotional response such as fear, worry, anger, despair, hopelessness, uneasiness or dread. The mind changes the focus from healthy to unhealthy thoughts, from good to bad. It can range from mild to severe levels of anxiety. Anxiety is real. It is important to recognize the effects of anxiety on your dental office experiences.

Causes

The unhealthy part of the mind is responsible for hurting the person due to unworthiness, thinking they are a bad person, desire to hurt themselves, fear of pain and discomfort, and fear of the unknown. The mind tries to trick the patient into thinking that worry is good for them, but it is not. Sometimes the mind believes that worrying about something will protect them.

Why is it dangerous to your body?

Anxiety produces chemicals that degrade the logic of the mind. Anxiety promotes pathology and disease. Anxiety has no healthy benefits to you or your body. In fact, anxiety can increase your chance of systemic disease which:

Increases acid production of the body which tenses and destroys the tissues
The increased acids prevents the local anesthetic from working properly
Increases your chances of having discomfort and soreness
Increases the chances of complications
Increases the chances of an unfavorable dental visit
Increases the chances of hurting yourself
What can be done to improve your dental experience?

Eat before you arrive for proper nutrition and healing potential. Eating increases the blood flow and provides more oxygen.
Arrive 15 minutes early to allow time for your mind to relax from the commute, visit the rest room, or meditate.

Focus on what you do want – healthy smile, healthy mouth, nice looking teeth, gums and lips, etc.
Focus on breathing deeply and relaxing your feet, ankles, calves and thighs.
Focus on relaxing your waist, abs, back, and shoulders.
Focus on relaxing your neck, face, forehead and scalp.
Focus on relaxing and emptying your mind.
Feel grateful and appreciative that you are doing something healthy for yourself.

If you need more help, feel free to share with your dental health professionals such as your dentist, dental assistant, dental hygienist; sharing how you feel decreases anxiety and provides improved feeling toward more successful outcomes.