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I get really nervous and freaked out when I go to the dentist. Does anyone have any recommendations for how I can calm down when I'm in the chair?
I would call your dentist or search for a dentist and speak to the staff and ask them what options do you have to help me manage my anxiety? They want to help you be as comfortable as possible when you are at the office.
My dentist has a tv in each room and I can choose if I want to watch a movie, regular tv or listen to music. They have headphones so you can't hear any of the sounds of the treatment they are doing. I don't get nervous except when I can hear the drill. I noticed when I had to get a filling re-done and I had the tv headphones on that did help me not hear the drill and I felt more relaxed.
I was in the dental office and they blew cool air (from the mouth suction tube) on my forearm. The dental hygienist said it helped calm people--and it really helped!
I've been reading that more offices are offering VR (virtual reality) to help anxious patients.
Also, some offices have therapy dogs that will sit on your lap and you can pet them. Here is a link to an article about a dentist who uses therapy dogs. https://www.dentistry.com/expert-corner/dr.-anita-marra/getting-a-therapy-dog-in-the-fight-against-dental-phobia
Her practice is in Arizona--do you live there?
Best of luck and letting your dentist know you are nervous is the first step.
I struggle with dental anxiety as well so I understand how you feel. The day of the dental appointment I try to calm my nerves as soon as I wake up by doing some meditation. I drink tea and relax. When I am in the chair, I like to bring some type of stress ball that I can squeeze tight when needed. I like to keep my eyes closed and imagine I am a safe place.
I hope this helps! I know this is only my experience but these distress tolerance skills are proven to really work.