Does the thought of undergoing oral surgery make your palms sweaty? You are not alone.
Experiencing anxiety before a dental procedure is extremely common. In fact, it is estimated that up to 15 percent of all Americans avoid going to the dentist for one reason: They’re afraid.
Don’t let anxiety prevent you from receiving the care you need. Use the following relaxation strategies to help calm your brain and body prior to and during your oral surgery or dental appointment.
Communicate with Your Surgeon
If your oral surgeon does not know you are nervous about your visit, how can he or she help? You should let your dental professionals know if you have any trepidation, however slight, about your upcoming procedure, so they can try to understand the root of your fear and minimize your discomfort.
Also, stating the facts and having open lines of communication with your oral surgeon might help increase your trust and calm any uncertainties.
Understand the Procedure
What procedure do you have scheduled? You should know why you need treatment, learn about the steps involved and understand how the surgery is going to improve your life in the future. This can help you focus on the positives leading up to the time of your appointment.
Listen to Music
If you will not be completely sedated during your oral surgery, listening to music can drastically help improve your experience. The music will drown out the other sounds in the room and help you turn your attention elsewhere.
You will focus less on your other senses, including smell, sight and touch. Music can be a welcome distraction from many of the triggers that would normally exacerbate your anxiety.
Focus on Breathing
Have you spent time practicing yoga or meditation? Transport your deep breathing techniques to the oral surgeon’s office. These exercises are helpful because you are forced to stay mindful of your breathing pattern, and your body receives a plentiful supply of oxygen, which helps dispel tension.
Consider Using Medication
Don’t be a martyr. If you feel that oral surgery is too much for you to handle while fully conscious, take advantage of the many drugs available to ease your anxiety.
From nitrous oxide to general anesthesia, your oral surgeon will have a full range of options to help. Learn about the health risks involved before making a decision, and trust your oral surgeon’s guidance based on your individual medical history.
Follow these tips and eliminate the feeling of dread that arises when you think about your upcoming oral surgery. Most importantly, make sure you partner with a team who cares about your individual experience — the oral surgery experts at Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery.