How to Beat Dental Phobia

At Southern Maine Oral Surgery, we love seeing and treating our patients…but we know that feeling isn’t always mutual! Not everyone loves going to the dentist, and patient anxiety can range from a mild apprehension to full blown Dental Phobia (a fear so intense that it causes people to avoid the dentist completely).

Because we are an oral surgery practice, our patients have an especially pressing need to be seen and treated. From our front desk staff, to our dental assistants and our surgeons, the entire SMOMS team strives to help our patients feel comfortable and at ease. The fact remains that oral surgery is a bit more invasive than a cleaning at a regular dentist, and this can result in even more anxiety for our patients.

It’s completely normal to be nervous about going to the dentist or oral surgeon! Studies estimate that 75% of adults in the United States have some sort of apprehension at the prospect of oral treatments and surgery. If you or a family member are feeling a little nervous about an upcoming visit to SMOMS, here are three tips to help you relax on your way to a healthier smile: 

1. Don’t keep your phobia secret! If you suffer from anxiety or fear caused by the thought of your dentist visit, tell us! Our compassionate and knowledgeable staff can talk through every step of your procedure and answer every question. Information is power, and having all the information about your treatment can make you feel more at ease. 

2. Make it musical! Music helps us relax and distract us throughout the day, and the dentist/oral surgery office is no different. Bring your headphones, and play your favorite pump up song in the waiting room. When you’re in the chair, ask our staff about keeping one or both pods in so that you can immerse yourself in your favorite tunes. Forget your fear and find the beat! 

3. Take a deep breath! Take a cue from yogis around the globe and try to focus on your breath during your next appointment. Measured, intentional techniques such as belly breathing and measured breathing gives your body more oxygen and helps your nervous system relax. Start your deep breathing at home, on the way to the office, continue in the waiting room and throughout your appointment to create a sense of calm.