Whether it is your first time getting work done on your teeth or you are a regular patient, procedures can be anxiety-inducing. At Buttram Orthodontics, we understand that these feelings prevent some from scheduling their next appointment on time or at all. Our team strives to do what we can to make your experience as comfortable as possible. Read on to learn some handy tips to help with dental anxiety at the orthodontist!
Dental Anxiety Is Completely Normal
Patients of all ages can suffer from dental anxiety. Trauma from a past procedure, an extreme fear of needles, or discomfort from the sight of an orthodontist’s office can bring these uncomfortable feelings to the surface. Let us reassure you that you are not alone in dealing with these emotions, and we are ready to help you manage them so you can keep your treatment on schedule and your teeth healthy!
Those with dental anxiety may experience common symptoms, which include feeling faint upon walking into the office or as their appointment begins, getting sweaty or overheating, having a racing heartbeat, being visibly distressed, or having low blood pressure.
If any of these signs sound familiar to you, tell our team so we can take proper measures to help make your appointment go smoothly.
Bring Distractions To Occupy Your Mind
There are many ways to distract yourself during an appointment, including bringing headphones, something to watch, focusing on a specific point on the wall, and squeezing a stress ball. Feel free to experiment with these various options to see what works best to keep your mind occupied. You can even try a combination to enhance their effectiveness and stay in control of managing your dental anxiety.
Depending on what needs to be accomplished during a particular appointment, double-check with Dr. Buttram to see what headphones or other entertainment equipment he recommends will be best while still allowing you to progress your teeth to the next step.
Bring a Friend With You
Sometimes, the best distraction is a friendly face! If you are having trouble focusing on an electronic device while work is getting done, we invite you to bring a friend with you so they can act as your emotional support and alleviate feelings of unease.
While you may not be able to hold a conversation when tools are in your mouth, they can still talk to you and keep your mind in a different place. Just their presence may help make you feel more safe or relaxed in an otherwise uncomfortable environment. If you are distracted by your anxiety during your appointment, they can also ask questions you may wonder about later.
Focus on Deep Breathing Techniques
Another method you can employ is deep breathing and meditation techniques. By concentrating on the sound of your breath and slowing down your heart rate, you hold the power to reduce the physical effects of dental anxiety on your body. This will allow you to relax and calm down, focusing on releasing tension instead of the work being done inside your mouth. You can practice this technique at home to feel confident and ready for your next appointment.
Go to Your Happy Place
A common way to preoccupy yourself, which you may have heard Dr. Buttram or your dentist mention before, is to go to your happy place. Some patients imagine a calm beach with soft crashing waves or sitting at a coffee shop listening to the ambient noise around you.
In other words, any setting, memory, or environment you can visualize that eases your nerves and helps you cope with dental anxiety. This will switch your brain into a positive mindset and strive to shift your perspective throughout a procedure. If you have a small item related to your happy place, holding it in your hand may help add a sensory component and bring in a familiar texture.
Share Your Fears With Us
We are able to help you best when you share your anxieties with us as they occur during your time at Buttram Orthodontics. Our team is experienced in supporting patients with similar feelings, so we promise there is no need to feel embarrassed or nervous. Dr. Buttram and everyone at our practice work to create an environment that values open communication.
The earlier we know, the earlier we can tailor your treatment to accommodate questions and concerns related to your dental anxiety. Any of our staff will be happy to talk you through each step of an upcoming procedure or appointment so you know exactly what to expect on the day of. No surprises will await you.
We Are Here for You Throughout Your Journey!
Buttram Orthodontics will do whatever we can to support you throughout your journey and help manage any signs of dental anxiety. Whenever you feel your nerves rising during an appointment, don’t be afraid to stop us and let us know. Our goal is to make your experience as positive as possible so that you can get the smile results you deserve! Contact our practice in Panama City today to schedule your free consultation.