Are you feeling a little tense about your forthcoming dental implant procedure? Do you find yourself thinking about canceling the appointment before the day even comes?
You are not alone if you answered yes to either of these questions. Dental anxiety is a common issue, and we understand that many people will be anxious about the prospect of a surgeon inserting a titanium post into their jaw.
The undertaking may daunt you, but in reality, dental implants are a common, safe and painless procedure with a very high success rate. Still, to stop your anxiety from getting the better of you, there are several ways you can deal with it effectively.
Get your concerns out in the open and tell your dental implant surgeon about your anxiety and what's bothering you. Many people choosing implants for the first time are unfamiliar with the procedure, so their imagination fills the information void, making them feel afraid. When you speak to the surgeon, you can ask about what's involved, the tools they will use and so on. The more you know, the better you will feel. The dentist may also be able to recommend techniques to help you feel relaxed.
Before starting the procedure, the dental surgeon will give you a local anesthetic, so you won't feel any pain. To take your mind off what they're doing, strap on your headphones and listen to some cool tunes.
Bear in mind that if you are undergoing a complex procedure involving multiple implants, the dentist might ask you not to bring any music with you.
It's important that you have time to yourself before and especially after the procedure. Also, pick a time for your appointment when you will not be stressed out or under pressure because of other things going on in your life.
Try some deep breathing exercises to relax your mind and help you feel calmer. They don’t have to take a lot of time, just a few minutes each day leading up to your appointment. It's about setting aside time to focus on your breathing.
You can begin with 5 minutes a day (or 2 minutes if that seems a lot) and gradually go up to 15 minutes.
Here are a couple of exercises to try:
Pursed Lip Breathing
Diaphragmatic Breathing Exercise
Anxiety may get the better of you in the waiting room or once you're in the dentist's chair. Therefore, learn how to meditate to promote feelings of Zen-like calmness.
Wherever you're seated, close your eyes or fix your eyes on an object such as a chair or desk. Then allow your body to relax. Pay attention to different parts of your body and consciously attempt to release tension from your head to your toes.
This is another simple technique you can do while in the waiting room or dentist's chair.
Close your eyes and visualize positive settings that will make you happy - go to your 'happy place'. For example, a beach, lake, green fields or even a past event such as a party or family holiday. The idea is to get your body into a relaxed state because it reacts to your thoughts.
The support of a close friend or relative may be all you need to calm your mind. Although you won't be able to talk to them while the dentist is placing your implant, just having them there can make you feel comfortable and relaxed.
If you are still nervous about the procedure, your implant surgeon can give you IV sedation. This is a safe alternative to a general anesthetic, and it's when sedatives are delivered into the veins intravenously to help you relax.
Among the many benefits of IV sedation are the following:
An alternative form of sedation is administering nitrous oxide or laughing gas. It has a sweet odor and taste and is used for dental patients with mild anxiety. During a dental procedure, the gas is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a mask that covers the nose. It gets to work within minutes and makes patients feel calm and relaxed.
Whether you are considering a dental implant or have booked a procedure and are feeling anxious, we can help. We'll be able to answer any questions you may have to calm your fears and put your mind at rest.
All you have to do is give us a call today to set up a free, no-obligation consultation.
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