Two tips for overcoming your fear of the dentist

Posted on

Going to the dentist regularly is absolutely essential if you want to maintain good oral health. As such, if you have a fear of the dentist that is currently preventing you from getting the dental treatments you need, it's important to take steps to overcome your fear. Here are two ways to do this.

Discuss the problem with your dentist

The vast majority of dentists will have dealt with several patients who have a fear of receiving dental treatments. As such, it could be very useful to discuss this problem with your dentist.

During this discussion, you should do your best to explain why you feel so afraid. This will enable the dentist to understand what the root of the issue is and to offer solutions that will make it easier for you to cope with the process of getting dental work done.

For example, if your fear is the result of feeling vulnerable and out of control because you cannot speak when your teeth and gums are being examined or treated, your dentist may be able to resolve this problem, by demonstrating some hand gestures you can use to indicate that you wish to stop the dental treatment if or when you begin to feel frightened.

In this scenario, knowing that you have the power to interrupt the treatment process whenever you want to could be enough to help you feel safer and more at ease.

Try to develop positive associations with your dental appointments

Most people who have a fear of going to the dentist feel the way that they do as a result of having one or two unpleasant past experiences (such as a particularly painful root canal, for example). This has led to them developing a very negative perception of dental treatments.

To change this perception, you will need to make an effort to develop new, positive associations with your visits to the dentist.

For example, each time that you go for a scale-and-polish, spend the journey to the dental clinic listening to some of your favourite, 'feel-good' songs. Then, after the appointment, treat yourself to something that you really enjoy, such as a massage, a manicure or a trip to the cinema.

This won't provide immediate results; it might take several trips to the dentist to start noticing a shift in your perception. However, if you take the above-mentioned approach every single time you have a dental appointment, you will gradually begin to associate positive feelings with your visits to the dental clinic.