It’s not uncommon to feel anxious about going to the dentist – it’s certainly not something that most of us relish. However, for some people, their level of anxiety is so high that it actually prevents them from visiting their dentist in Chesterfield and getting the dental treatment they desperately need. Without regular dental care, they may eventually develop serious dental issues which could lead to pain and loss of teeth. Fortunately there are various options for dealing with your fear of the dentist, but first, let’s take a look at the causes of dental anxiety.
Why some people are afraid of the dentist
There are many reasons for dental anxiety but 4 of the most common include:
- Past experience – If a patient has had a previous treatment that caused them pain or the treatment was complicated then it may have led them to think that all dental visits will be the same.
- Pain – Nobody likes to feel pain and some people naturally perceive that a visit to the dentist and treatment with odd shaped stainless steel tools is going to hurt.
- Embarrassment – If a person feels their teeth are already in bad shape then they are often too embarrassed to visit their Chesterfield dentist
- Lack of control – Some people worry about not having control when laid back in the dentist’s chair. This is accelerated by the dentist examining their mouth.
Open up about your anxieties
The first step towards dealing with dental anxiety is to be upfront about it. Dentists understand that this type of fear is genuine so don’t worry that they’ll be dismissive. Together you can work out a plan to help you feel more relaxed during your visit.
One method of dealing with your dental anxiety which you can discuss with your dentist in Chesterfield is sedation dentistry to keep you calm and relaxed throughout your treatment. This can include inhaling laughing gas or oral medication.
Distractions are another way of helping a person through their dental treatment. Often dentists have TVs in their treatment rooms which you can watch to distract you from what’s going on in your mouth. Alternatively, you might want to consider putting your earplugs in and listening to your favorite music tracks.
Bring a friend
Often having a family member or close friend, who doesn’t share your fear of the dentist, come along can help as they can offer support and comfort. You can always ask your dentist if they can sit in with you while you’re undergoing treatment. Another top tip is to ask for the first appointment of the day so you’re not allowing your anxiety to build up during the day as you wait to visit your dentist.
Practice breathing exercises
We’ve all heard the expression “take a deep breath” and it’s true that deep breathing can calm you down during anything that has the ability to make your heart start pumping faster. Take a deep breath in, hold it for a few seconds, and then slowly exhale, relaxing your muscles and slowing your heartbeat. Try practicing this technique for several days before your dental appointment.
If none of the above works then how about considering therapeutic support. Hypnotherapy can help some people or you may want to sign up for a few counseling sessions with a psychologist who specializes in phobias.
Having a fear of the dentist shouldn’t prevent you from keeping your oral health in good shape, so do try some or all of the suggestions mentioned above.