21 Feb Overcoming Pre-Dental Visit Anxiety With Mindfulness Techniques
Dentist Anxiety in Gilbert
Experiencing anxiety or fear about an upcoming dental visit is not all that uncommon. Patients may have concerns about being poked or prodded, and those concerns may cause them to put off regular cleanings and checkups due to dentist anxiety in Gilbert. Or worse, worry can become a reason to avoid dental work that is needed in order to restore teeth or prevent further decay or loss. At Lifetime Family Dental in Gilbert Arizona, we’d like to highlight recent studies about mindfulness techniques that help to reduce anxiety and stress. Mindfulness is one way to allay worries and set fears to rest, so oral care visits can happen in a timely manner, even for patients who once feared to step inside a dental office. According to recent studies, with mindfulness, we may be able to choose not to fear.
One scientific study describes anxiety as, “The cognitive state related to the inability to control emotional responses to perceived threats.” Naturally, a visit to the dentist’s office can spark thoughts and emotions that easily spiral out of control. Read on if you’ve found yourself struggling with mild anxiety or with fear, and in particular, if you’re worried about sitting in a dentist’s chair.
What is Mindfulness?
In essence, mindfulness is the practice of stillness and centering the mind. The goal is to realize that while we have a million and more thoughts a day that can lead to a number of feelings and reactions, we also have the power to only observe these thoughts and emotions, without internalizing them. Observing thoughts and emotions means we watch them as we would observe clouds or cars passing by: instead of allowing them to take charge of our souls, we only take note of them.
The result of a mindfulness practice is more inner peace and clarity. In recent years mindfulness techniques have been employed to everything from overcoming trauma, to simply starting the day right. There are dozens of scientific studies correlating mindfulness techniques with reduced anxiety and stress.
If you’ve experienced anxiety or fear and you’re interested in practicing mindfulness, here are a few videos that teach the techniques and explain the concepts. You may even want to practice these techniques before your next visit to our offices at Lifetime Family Dental.
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (2/20/2018) Hefin Owen (Flickr)