For many just the thought of visiting the dentist strikes fear. Maybe you had a bad experience in the past, or the thought of someone being so close to your mouth freaks you out. The fear of the dentist can also stem from other fears such as: fear of pain, fear of needles, fear of doctors, or fear of being touched.
It is important to note the difference between fear and phobia though. Fear is a strong dislike of a thing that you may not think about until presented with it. A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder which is known to cause extreme distress or avoidance. Both can be overcome.
Visiting the dentist is a necessary part of life and here at Carrum Downs Dental Care we aim to make you as comfortable as possible during your visit. Depending on the severity of your fear, the techniques will take different lengths of time. These techniques may help you on your journey, but if the fear persists, make sure to talk to a professional.
Here’s 8 tips to help you overcome dentophobia and book in your next appointment:
- Talk to your dentist about it. They will gain an understanding of your fears and be able to calmly and clearly explain the procedure to you to reduce the fear of the unknown.
- Create a ‘pause’ signal. While talking to the dentist and dental assistant, establish a physical or vocal signal to ‘pause’ the procedure at any point in the case it becomes too overwhelming.
- Exposure therapy. Begin by attending smaller appointments. Build up with partial exams, x-rays, cleanings, until you feel confident enough for any procedures you need done.
- Distract yourself. Create a story in your head. Or ask your dentist if you can listen to some music, We also have the additional comfort of a TV on the ceiling to keep you occupied.
- Breathing techniques. In the lead up to your appointment and in the waiting room try some breathing exercises and meditation to relax.
- Ask a friend or loved one to attend with you. That way you’ll have somebody to support you the whole time.
- Nitrous Oxide This is a safe and effective way for those with high levels of anxiety at the dentist to feel more comfortable. It can also come in handy for those with sensitive gag reflexes or back and neck problems.
- Find the right dentist for you. At Carrum Downs Dental Care, we make sure our patients are comfortable and at ease throughout the appointment.
Book an Appointment today with your dentist in Carrum Downs.
It’s not a short process, and working through it is the best way to overcome your fear. Start small and work your way up. Our dental clinic in Carrum Downs is ready to ease your mind and help you through your visits. Give us a call on 9783 0600.