Dental anxiety is a real issue, and not just something that children have. If the mere thought of going to the dentist fills you with fear, then you need to know how to combat dental anxiety.
Some people don’t want to disrupt their daily routine as this makes them feel anxious, and some are just so scared of the pain and anticipate it so much that they talk themselves out of going.
Some have had negative experiences as a youth or an adult and this has colored their views of the dentist into adulthood. Some have put off the dentist for years and now know they need a lot of work and are afraid it will either be too painful, too expensive, or both.
Knowing how to combat dental anxiety is so important, and could make a huge difference to your overall health. Neglecting your dental appointments doesn’t just affect your look and the appearance of your smile, but your wellbeing. Dental work that is left untreated for too long can cause issues such as pain, gum disease, cancer, and diabetes. Let’s take a look at what you can do to combat your dental anxiety:
Scout The Area For A Reliable Dentist
Most people don’t want to feel rushed or like their concerns are not going to be taken seriously, so you need to scout the area for a reliable dentist. A reliable dentist with plenty of great reviews will listen to you, take you seriously, and discuss what they can do for you. Many dentists now specialize in nervous patients and offer special treatments for them, so it is definitely worth looking into these to see if you can find one in your area. Always check out unbiased reviews on sites like Trustpilot and Facebook – you don’t want to read fabricated reviews.
Call And Discuss Your Needs and Worries
Once you feel you may have found a good dentist, call them to discuss your needs and worries. Do they spend time with you on the phone? Do they feel like they are listening, and understanding you? This is how you will get a good idea of what their customer care is like, and whether this is a dentist that you would like to visit. Some may even offer to set up a virtual consultation with you online so you don’t have to go to the dentist’s office in person. Remember, all of this is no-obligation, and if you end up deciding not to visit the dentists you have spoken to then that is fine. You need to trust who you visit and ensure they care about you and your wellbeing.
Learn How To Control Your Breathing
Controlling your breathing sounds so simple it’s almost patronizing, but trust us when we say it can make a huge difference to your overall state of being. Taking deep belly breaths can signal to the body that we are more relaxed. Breathing patterns, like the 7/11 breathing technique, are particularly helpful. You could also try repeating a mantra, such as ‘I am safe.’ Shallow breaths signal to the body that we are anxious, so do your best to keep your own breath under control.
Figure Out Where Your Fear Came From
Can you pinpoint where your fear of the dentist came from? Maybe you had a bad experience when you were younger, for example. If this is the case, try to consider what happened and why it is unlikely anything like that will happen again. Understanding why you get nervous could help you to better control your fear response next time you visit the dentist.
Agree On The Use Of Hand Signals To Take A Break
When you visit a dentist for treatment, it could be a good idea to agree on the use of hand signals to let them know when you need to take a break. Many will agree hand signals with you so they know that you need them to stop, and many will even leave the door open so you can walk out whenever you like.
Choose A Low Stress Appointment Time
Choose a low stress appointment time, both for you and the dental clinic. If they know you are a nervous patient, then they will likely allow more time for your appointment so you can relax and take breaks. They will also be more likely to explain the process to you gently and be understanding should you struggle to relax. There’s nothing worse than feeling rushed when you are trying to stay calm.
Cognitive behavioural therapy and other types of therapy could potentially help you to lessen your fear – many people use it with things like flying and it works very well. You could even try hypnotherapy to overcome your fear of the dentist. See if you can find a trustworthy practitioner with happy clients and stay open minded. It can take a little work and determination, but you could feel so much better very soon.
Consider Having Treatment At Home
Treatment at home is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to have your dental treatment. If you are having clear aligners, for instance, you can take your dental impression at home and then send it back to the team. The whole time you will be in the comfort of your own home and won’t need to visit a dentist office – this is useful for people who find that the smells, noises, and sensations of a dentist’s office can set them off. You will then receive a customized invisible aligners plan created to your specific needs, and this will allow you to straighten your teeth without braces. We offer great customer service so you don’t need to worry about a thing if you do decide to go ahead with this treatment, and you will get full support from us without having to visit a dentist at all.
Get in touch with us today to find out how our clear aligners could help you!