How to Dispel Dental Anxiety
Of course, we do what we can to make your visit with us as comfortable as possible. But there are also ways to help yourself deal with any anxiety you may have while anticipating treatment.
- Positive self-talk. Tell yourself, “I can handle this well.” Make other positive self-statements, especially about tense situations similar to this with which you coped well.
- Make positive statements about the dental personnel. You’re in good hands. Remind yourself that the doctors and staff are highly qualified, well-trained, and “know what they are doing.”
- Deep muscle relaxation. Relax your muscles by starting to focus on your forehead. Then picture relaxation flowing down and through your face and downward through the rest of the body. Breathe from your diaphragm by expanding your abdomen. Your navel should rise and fall slowly. Deep/slow breathing (Lamaze technique) calms the nervous system.
- Distraction technique. Use mental, or “guided” imagery to visualize in detail an everyday task like dressing in the morning. For example, you are putting your blue sock onto your left foot, then the right, then you are putting on your brown shoes. Some people like to imagine that they are on a beach. These images take your mind off what is happening in the dental chair.
- Focal point. Concentrate on a spot or fixed object. Stare at it and try to imagine your body floating toward that spot.
- Listen to soothing music. A pair of earphones with your favorite relaxing songs can make a big difference.
- Exercise beforehand. Twenty minutes of aerobic exercise gives you three hours of relaxation.
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Dr. Angela Burns moved to Austin 10 years ago and instantly fell in love with our beautiful city. Dr. Burns is originally from the Texarkana area. She attended Texas A&M for her undergraduate degree and The University of Tennessee Health Science Center for her degree in dental surgery (DDS). Dr. Burns is committed to providing her patients with gentle, technologically advanced dental treatment. She attends an average of 60 hours of continuing education every year. She is a member of the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the Texas Dental Association, and the Capital Area Dental Society. Dr. Burns and her husband, Gary, have an 11-year-old daughter, Sydney, who is a proud 6th grader at Hill Country Middle School. She is also very involved in the Eanes PTO, her church, and loves raising her family in the Westlake community. “Growing up, I was drawn to mediating and helping others feel more included and less anxious. I was a camp counselor, student government officer and being the oldest of five, I was the family mediator. I found that I had a calling to help alleviate stressful situations for others and realized that being a good listener was something that was key to this. These skills really helped guide me into becoming a dentist that has based my practice on relationships, empathy and a sense of comfort. I knew that I wanted to provide an atmosphere that felt like home when others walked in. Our practice is small, personal and state of the art and we hope you feel like you’re hanging out with friends when you are here!” When she is not practicing dentistry, Dr. Burns enjoys traveling, hiking the greenbelt, enjoying Austin’s music scene, and eating Amy’s Ice Cream.