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Managing Dental Anxiety: Using Music or Audiobooks During Appointments
Looking for information on how to manage dental anxiety? Many adults experience a fear of the dentist, also known as dental anxiety. Most patients with dental anxiety avoid the dentist at all costs, inadvertently causing any dental issues to worsen over time. In fact, many adults with dental anxiety will not visit the dentist until extreme pain forces them to do so. However, there are ways to lessen the effects of dental anxiety while sitting in the dentist's chair.
Signs of dental anxiety
Some signs of dental anxiety include avoidance of the dentist, insomnia the night before a dental procedure and intense feelings of nervousness before and during a dental appointment. Those with dental anxiety may also experience crying, or even feeling physically sick at the thought of going to the dentist.
Intense uneasiness when dental tools are placed into the mouth is another common sign of dental anxiety. Extreme, negative reactions to the application of local anesthesia may occur, as well. Some may get the sensation that it is suddenly difficult to breathe.
In some cases, dental anxiety and phobia may need to be dealt with using psychiatric consultation. For the most part, many patients are able to cope with their anxiety using a variety of calming and distraction tactics.
How to manage your dental anxiety
For those with mild to moderate cases of dental anxiety, it may be helpful to distract yourself during an appointment. Many find success with listening to music, podcasts or audiobooks to distract oneself during a dental procedure.
Using a favorite playlist or audiobook can not only help to distract someone with dental anxiety, but it can also help to drown out the sound of the dental drill. Many people with dental anxiety fear the dental drill the most — the sound of it can cause anxiety in itself. Eliminating the sound can make the experience of any dental appointment much smoother.
Music and audiobooks have the powerful ability to calm a person with anxiety. Music is so powerful that it is often used in rehabilitation programs, as well.
Some dental offices have screens where the patient can watch television during an appointment. However, some prefer music to television, as this allows one to close their eyes and focus on the sound of the music.
It is important to have a hand signal if listening to music, just in case the patient needs to take a break during the procedure. Establish a form of communication other than speaking with the dentist beforehand. This can help to ease dental anxiety, as well. Ask the dentist exactly what to expect before, during and after the procedure so the process is clear.
The bottom line
Always communicate to your dentist what you are feeling and if you have any anxiety associated with dental procedures. Our friendly staff are very accommodating and want to make sure every patient is comfortable. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation and get back on track with your dental checkups.
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