To keep your teeth healthy, it is recommended that you see a dentist annually. A visit to your nearby dentist for a routine checkup will mostly be uncomfortable, but not painful. This notwithstanding, some people would rather not go to the dentist due to dental phobia.
What is a Dental Phobia?
Dental phobia is an intense and unreasonable fear that is associated with the dentist, dental care procedures, needles or injections. So deeply set is the fear and associated anxiety that a patient would rather put up with unsightly or broken teeth, pain and gum infections than visiting a dental office. As a result, they will put off routine care for as long as they can. A person with a dental phobia will be terrified at the thought of going to the dentist. While most people with this fear know that it is irrational, they are unable to do anything about it.
How to Recognise Your Fears
When you have dental phobia, your dread for dental procedures will manifest in the following symptoms:
a) Having trouble sleeping on the night preceding a dental exam
b) Increased tension and nervousness while in the waiting room
c) Getting overcome by emotion to a point of crying when seeing your dentist.
d) Falling short of breath when dental equipment is placed in your mouth
e) Feeling sick when you think of seeing a dentist
How to Overcome Dental Phobia
As terrible as dental phobia sounds, and no matter how bad it is on you, you can overcome it using simple techniques such as those discussed below.
Bring someone with you for Your Appointments
Having a friend or family member in the waiting room can have a calming effect. Your companion should be confident enough and have no fear of the dentist so they can offer assurance and support during the visit.
Practice Relaxation Tips
There are different relaxation techniques to help you overcome your phobia. Controlled breathing has a way of evoking a relaxation response. Whenever you feel tense, take some deep breaths. You may also try squeezing a hand grip or a stress ball. Silently repeating simple mantras and indulging in positive thoughts can also distract you from your fears.
Talk to us about your Dental Phobias
Your dentist can play a significant role in overcoming your phobia but only if you open up. Talking to us about your anxiety will help us create a strategy for dealing with it so you can get an outlet and come to terms with how you developed the fear. We could also offer pre-treatment conditioning where you come in to get familiar with the dentist and the procedure. When you acknowledge and communicate your fears, we will find the most comfortable way for you to overcome them.
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Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, we encourage you to discuss these matters with a dental professional.