Everyone is scared of something. Some people have fears borne out of bad experiences in the past, while others don’t seem to have any cause. Fear is a useful thing a lot of the time, to a certain extent. A fear of falling from a great height or getting hit by a car can help you make safer decisions, as long as it’s not ruling your life. But some fears only get in the way of you doing routine tasks. Lots of people are scared of going to the dentist, but it’s a barrier to keeping your teeth healthy. If you want to deal with this fear, there are several things you can do.
Find a Good Dentist
Choosing an understanding dentist is one of the most important things to do. Although they will all have medical degrees and be qualified to look after your teeth, some will have a better bedside manner than others. When you’re looking for a new dentist, find a surgery that makes a point to be welcoming to nervous patients. For example, the Mazza Center for Implant and Esthetic Dentistry offers sedation dentistry. It’s ideal if you’re anxious about your appointment. It can help to visit the clinic before your appointment too, so you can look around and meet the staff.
Take a Friend
Sometimes just having someone along to support you can make a big difference. Sitting in the waiting room as you wait to be called can make you nervous. You might try to distract yourself. But it’s much easier if you have a friend to chat to and, sometimes literally, hold your hand. See if you can find a friend or family member who can wait with you, even if they can’t come in to see the dentist with you. Sometimes you might need someone to meet you when you come out, for example if you have been sedated.
Understand What Will Happen
Fear of the dentist can sometimes stem from not knowing what’s going to happen. You might have had checkups before, but perhaps you’re scared you’ll have to have an unfamiliar procedure. It can also be frightening when you’re going to a new clinic, and you don’t know what will be different to your old place. Before you go, make an effort to understand what is going to happen. If you can, talk to your dentist, a nurse or the receptionist about how things will take place.
Consider Distraction and Coping Techniques
When you’re in with the dentist, focusing too much on what they’re doing can make you anxious. Instead, you can distract yourself using different coping methods. You might be able to take a personal music player and put your headphones in. Some especially anxious people might find breathing techniques useful. It can also be possible to talk to your dentist and agree a signal for them to stop. That way, you can have a break if you need one.
Don’t let a fear of the dentist rule your life forever. If you’re scared to go, experiment with ways to help you overcome it.