If you suffer from dental anxiety, it can be difficult to receive the dental care you're in need of. Just thinking about the dentist can leave you in a panic. If you've been avoiding the dentist because you're too fearful to go, you should know that there are some things you can do to alleviate the distress. Here are four simple strategies that will help you overcome your anxiety so you can get the dental care you need.

Take Time to Prepare

If you get nervous as soon as it's time to leave for the dentist, you might want to try relaxing before you leave. Take some time to prepare yourself before leaving for your appointment. Going in a quiet room to meditate or taking a relaxing walk before you go to the dentist can calm your nerves. Once you're calm you can take off for the dentist. If you'd prefer, you can arrive at the dentist a few minutes early and spend some time outside relaxing before you sign in.

Bring a Friend

If you have dental anxiety, the waiting room can be a stressful place. Instead of going alone, take a friend or family member with you. They'll be able to sit and keep you company while you wait for your name to be called. Conversation is an excellent way to take your mind off your appointment so you can relax. In addition, if you have to have dental work performed, the dentist may allow you to bring your companion into the exam room.

Listen to Music

If the sound of the dental equipment increases your anxiety level, there are ways to block out the sound. Bring a digital music player and headphones with you to your appointment. The music will drown out the sound of the dental equipment so you can relax. If you'll be having dental work performed, you might also want to bring a sleep mask with you to place over your eyes. Placing a sleep mask over your eyes will reduce the glare from the overhead lamp, which will allow you relax and listen to your music.

Ask About Sedation

If the suggestions listed above don't alleviate your distress, you should sit down with your dentist and discuss dental sedation. There are various forms of sedation available, including oral sedatives that you take right before your dental appointment. The sedatives allow you to relax so you can have your dental work done.

If dental anxiety is getting in the way of your dental work, use the simple tips provided above to help you overcome the anxiety. For other tips on how to overcome dental anxiety, be sure to speak to your dentist, such as at Stones River Dental.