Dental anxiety or fear prevents most children, teenagers and even adults from going to their regular check-ups. Although it feels embarrassing to talk about it, it affects most of the population and is common amongst individuals. Maybe it was a previous bad experience, or a vivid childhood experience or other reasons such as low self-esteem or you haven’t been keeping up with your regular checks. There are ways to help ease your way out of your phobia and begin to overcome your fears and phobias of the dentist –
Find the right dentist for you - one that makes you feel comfortable, welcome and relaxed. Read the reviews, look at their websites and even call them, get a feel for the staff and the first impressions before you commit to booking an appointment with them.
Tell your dentist about your anxiety – some patients prefer to know the stages of what is happening to help them feel more in control. Others prefer their dentist to be completely off topic from the work being done to help distract them. Communicate with your dentist about what works out better for you before treatment commences – this may even be determining cues or signals between the 2 of you for when you need a momentary break or to stop.
Bring a friend – it can often help knowing you have somebody that you feel comfortable around being there to wait for you once you’re finished in the waiting room as opposed to going alone. It may also help if possible to schedule appointments for the morning – so you don’t spend too much time dwelling on the appointment or psyching yourself up about it too much.
Use distractions – distractions are a great way to help divert your attention during treatment. Speak to your dentist about this beforehand, but find alternative things to talk about during your appointment be it work or families or any upcoming holidays. (On the rare occasion your dentist isn’t feeling very talkative), look for other items and objects around the room that you feel as though you can focus on.
Practice relaxation techniques – slow, controlled, deep breathing is one that works for most and helps to control your muscles and slow down your heartbeat if you feel anxious. Use visuals to help aid this in your mind or within the dentist to count to and ease your mind.
Consider dental sedation – sedation during appointments can help tremendously if none of the above work for you. This can help to keep a patient calm and relaxed during treatments, so it may be worthwhile discussing with your dentist beforehand if this may be an option to consider.
At Best Health Clinics, we provide IV sedation to carry out your dental treatments if you are nervous or anxious. This is a safe and an alternative way to allow you to have the dental care you need without the discomfort. For further information, feel free to call the clinic on 01708 477577 or alternatively submit a message through our enquiry form.