Moving along in our quest to overcome dental fears, we now take a look at claustrophobia – an anxiety or phobia of being in tight or confined spaces. Given that dental appointments typically involve work being done in somewhat close quarters, it’s important to have strategies in place to address any discomfort that you may feel. With the help of your dentist in Reno, you’ll be able to get the dental care you need without dreading every visit.
Communication is Key
Before any work is done, it’s important to let the staff know that you’re prone to feeling claustrophobic. Rest assured that you can do this without any worry of judgement or being reprimanded. Instead, this will allow the staff to better accommodate your needs.
Don’t be afraid to ask your dentist or hygienist for a break if you start to feel overwhelmed. You’ll be allowed to get up, take a moment to recover and reset so that you can comfortably complete your visit.
This may seem obvious because breathing is necessary to stay alive. While that’s true, the quality of your breathing can change depending on how you’re thinking. When you start to feel confined, it will usually be accompanied by shallow breathing. This, in turn, elevates your blood pressure and can cause even more anxiety.
A simple remedy is to take deep breaths and count to three as you inhale and exhale. This form of conscious breathing slows down your heart rate and helps to alleviate your anxiety.
Another helpful strategy is to police your thoughts. That can be done by introducing positive mental dialogue. For example, you can tell yourself, “I’m okay,” over and over, to calm your nerves. This will help to counter any negative thoughts that may be circulating.
Go to Your Happy Place
Do you have a memory that makes you smile? Can you remember a time in your life where you were very happy or an event that positively imprinted your psyche? Everybody has some definition of this specific to their lives. When you start to feel confined, mentally travel to that space and allow yourself to feel happy.
Take Refuge in Your Safe Place
Along with being happy, you want to feel protected. Think about what has made you feel safe in your life. It may be your parents, spouse, a pet or even a song. If you feel a bout of claustrophobia arising while visiting your Reno dentist, let your mind connect with that feeling of protection that will allow you to calm your anxieties.
By considering these strategies and planning in advance, you can effectively respond to any feelings of confinement that may come about at your dentist’s office, so you can experience peaceful and enjoyable visits.
About the Author
Sage Dental focuses on making patients feel comfortable by considering all their needs and taking the necessary steps to accommodate them. Dr. Branco is available to provide the dental care you need in a comfortable environment, so contact our office today!