How To Deal With Dental Anxiety
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Oral health is often regarded as being one of the most important pillars when it comes to our overall health. Surprisingly, almost half of the UK population has a fear of the dentist and this fear can have huge implications when it comes to our oral health and wellbeing. This fear stems from a number of different worries and concerns about sitting in the dentist’s chair and seems to be an issue faced by older generations, who may perhaps be scarred from dentist experiences when they were younger and techniques were less advanced.
Dentophobia, or the extreme fear of going to the dentist, can be debilitating for the person suffering from the fear, but it is hugely important to regularly attend dentist checkups so that they can look after your teeth and oral health. With this in mind, here are some ways you can deal with dental anxiety.
It might be uncomfortable for you to think about, but getting to the root of your fear or phobia of the dentist is one of the first steps when it comes to combatting dental anxiety. Could your anxiety or fear be caused by a bad past experience, perhaps? Or is it the tools and noises you feel and hear when sitting in the chair that make you uncomfortable? There are many different causes behind people’s fears of going to the dentist, but understanding where your own fear has come from means that you can discuss this with your dentist the next time you have a checkup and they can help make your visit much more comfortable.
Everyone is different and whilst the dentist that you’ve been seeing for years knows you, they might not be the right fit for you and your fear or phobia. It’s important to look around and find a dentist that is better suited to you, so have a look in your local area and look for ones that specialise in treating patients with phobias or fears. Many dental surgeries offer free consultations for new patients, so it is well worth speaking with a few and finding one that you like. Dental surgeries are very high tech now and put patient comfort first – there is a dentist in Warrington that has a TV in the ceiling that you can watch during your treatment!
If you have a fear of the treatments involved with going to the dentist, such as needles or injections, then you can look or ask for alternative treatments instead. Rather than having needles to administer anaesthetics, this can instead be substituted for a topical gel or numbing cream so that your mouth is numb beforehand. If you have a really bad phobia and need a long treatment doing, such as all on 4 dental implants or tooth removal, then you can also ask to be sedated if you don’t want to be awake during the procedure.
If your phobia or fear of going to the dentist is causing you serious problems or issues, then it might be best speaking with a professional. You could either talk directly to a dentist or your GP and see if they have any ideas into making your phobia or fear less intense, or you could even consider going to see an anxiety therapist. Counselling or therapy could help you to understand your fear in a controlled environment and help you get past your fear once and for all.