Your poor dentist. He’s only there to help, but many of us are terrified of him. Why?
There’s the expense for starters, but there is also the fear of pain, the loss of control, and the discomfort of somebody poking around in our mouths. We can also fear humiliation, especially when we know we haven’t cared for our teeth properly (get ready for a lecture).
Of course, we aren’t all terrified. Most of us feel a little apprehensive about the visit to the dental surgery. But there are those of us who have more intense feelings of dread and fear, and these can lead to dentophobia, a genuine and troubling phobia of the dentist.
Still, no matter what side of the fear spectrum we fall in, a visit to the dentist falls into one of those must-have health check-ups. If we continually avoid the visit, our phobias will get worse, and our oral health can be put at greater risk. If you are relating to anything we have said thus far, here are some tips to help you.
Find a dentist you can trust
If you have had a bad experience with your current dentist, ditch them and register with another surgery. The right dentist will understand your fears and will take steps to make your visit more comfortable. In the right hands, you will come to realise that a visit to the dentist doesn’t have to be so painful or so terrifying!
Talk to your dentist
Tell your dentist how you’re feeling. Let them know what fears you have. The more they know about your situation, the better the help they can provide. Solutions can usually be found to make your visit less problematic, such as using background music or a sedative to make you feel more relaxed, so don’t be afraid to communicate your fears.
Bring somebody with you
Don’t be embarrassed about bringing a friend or a family member into the surgery with you. They can provide extra support and assurance when you’re going through a procedure, and may even be allowed to hold your hand provided they aren’t in the dentist’s way. Of course, ensure you bring somebody along who doesn’t have their own fear of the dentist. You don’t want them making the situation worse!
Learn some relaxation techniques
You will only feel worse when your blood pressure and stress levels rise when you’re waiting to go in for your appointment. People with more pronounced fears of the dentist have often been known to flee the waiting room because their nerves have gotten the better of them. So take a few deep breaths to calm and steady your nerves, before and during your time at the dentist.
If you are genuinely afraid of the dentist, then counselling may work wonders. A good counsellor will help you get a better perspective of your fears and will suggest actionable steps to help you overcome them. Book an appointment directly, or ask your doctor or dentist to transfer you to counselling agencies they are in touch with.
Our final piece of advice is this: care for your teeth. The more you can do to look after them the better, as you won’t need to visit the dentist beyond your usual checkups! Still, we hope our other tips were helpful to you, but if you have any further words of wisdom for any fearful readers reading this article, be sure to let us know.