Getting over fear of the dentist

Apparently one in four of us just dreads a visit to the dentist, however, there are ways to overcome that fear.

The causes of fear can be different, depending on the person. Some people are scared simply because they think that the dental treatment will hurt but many people associate their fear with memories of bad experiences at the dentist as a child.

The good news is that more and more dentists over the years have made an effort to understand this fear and work towards making a visit to the dentist much more pleasant and stress free.

Apart from a kinder and gentler attitude towards patients, modern dental surgeries are now much friendlier environments – from flowers in pleasant reception areas to nice pictures on the walls or sometimes even specially selected music/viewing on flat screen TVs to relax you while your treatment is being carried out. Furthermore, advances in technology have improved dentistry, even drills aren’t as noisy as they used to be.

If you are particularly anxious about a visit to the dentist, here are a useful few tips:-

  • Ask around for an understanding dentist. Your friends and family may be able to recommend one or, alternatively, look for dentists who advertise themselves as experts with anxious patients.
  • Once you have found one that you think may be suitable, visit the surgery to meet the receptionist and dentist and tell them about your circumstances, so that they know beforehand.
  • Pick an early morning appointment in order to have less time to dwell on it.
  • Take a friend with you to the appointment.
  • If you think it could help, start with just a clean and polish and then work towards more extensive treatment once you have built up trust and a rapport with your dentist.
  • Before the dentist starts working on your teeth, agree that you will use a certain sign to signify that you need a break and want them to stop. It can be as simple as pointing your finger, this will also help you feel more in control of the situation.
  • If there is a particular type of music that helps you to relax. Take along a personal music player device and stick those earphones in!

Considering how important it is to take care of our teeth, it is vital to overcome fear of a visit to the dentist. After all, it really isn’t that bad and, of course, the benefits are many.

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