If you get nervous before a trip to the dentist or dread getting dental treatment, you might be suffering from a dental phobia. A lot of people are reluctant to call it a fear or a phobia, and instead, dismiss it as a dislike of the dentist. Unfortunately, many people will then use their dislike of visiting the dentist as an excuse to avoid visiting the dentist altogether. For nervous patients, the first step to getting over your fear of the dentist is to accept that you have a fear. Fear of the dentist is incredibly common and might give you anything from slightly sweaty palms to a racing heart. Once you know that it’s a phobia, it becomes much easier to take steps to make the dentist much less scary. Follow these easy steps to conquering your dental phobia.
If you’re dreading your next trip to the dentist’s chair, you can break it down into smaller steps. Visit the practice to make your appointment so you have a chance to talk to the reception staff and discuss your fear. They will be able to put you at ease and show you around the practice so it isn’t as intimidating when you have your appointment.
If you’re afraid of pain at the dentist, you may have had a traumatic experience that is leaving you dreading visiting the dentist. It is rare for dental procedures to hurt, but a bad memory of a bad experience can be built up in your mind into the most painful thing imaginable. Leave it long enough, and this will be all that you can think about when the subject of the dentist comes up. Visiting the dental hygienist can be a good way to get used to the sensations associated with dental work.
Dentists are people too, and they understand that their line of work can make some people fearful. It isn’t only children who are afraid of the dentist, and adults can also be just as afraid. Speak to your dentist about your phobia and let them know if there are certain things that make your fear worse. Some people hate to know what is going on and would prefer quiet, while others might want to know what is going on with a running commentary. Just let your dentist know so they can adapt their treatment style to alleviate your dental phobia.
Gavin Laidlaw is specially trained and qualified to treat nervous patients, so you can be assured your dental phobia will be a priority. Some patients won’t go anywhere near the dentist’s chair if this scares them too much. If you’re avoiding the dentist because you are embarrassed by your teeth, read Mark Platt’s story of how he overcame his fear.