How to get over the fear of the dentist

Some of us are okay with going to the dentist, while others don’t quite like it. A lot of people feel anxious when visiting the dentist for a number of reasons: sitting in the chair, hearing the sound of the equipment, operations, past experiences, etc. These feelings of dread are normal and quite common, but it’s best to figure out ways to overcome them because going for regular checkups is an essential part of oral health. You don’t have to ‘suck it up’ so to speak, but finding a suitable coping mechanism for your future appointments can help, rather than avoiding the dentist completely, which will only make things worse.

Here are some useful tips to help you overcome your fear of the dentist:

Find distractions

In any other situation, distractions are not good, but in the dentist’s chair, distractions are awesome! Find a way to distract your mind from worry, such as listening to the radio, starting at a piece of art on the wall or viewing a random object that’s a distance away from you.

Practise relaxation techniques

There are many apps, books, websites and various resources available that teach you how to relax. There are many techniques you can implement before your trip, such as breathing deeply, progressive relaxation, listening to music or sounds with a calming effect and guided imagery.

Book for the morning

If possible, try to book your dental appointments for attendance early in the morning, so that you won’t have to spend hours worrying about it. Plus, you can go to the dentist, get the check-up over and done with, then get on with the rest of your day!

Send out a signal

Prior to proceeding with your appointment, notify your dentist that you will signal to him or her if you’re feeling uncomfortable at any point so that she or he will know when to pause and give you a moment to calm down.

Take a friend with you

If you feel anxious before an appointment, then taking a friend with you might be an option. He or she will be able to reassure, support and comfort you when you’re feeling vulnerable, helping you feel less alone.

Build up a rapport

Before going for extensive treatment, start off by going for regular check-ups and build up trust and a rapport with your dentist over time.

Get to the root cause

Have a think: why do you feel extremely nervous about going to visit the dentist? Where does this fear stem from? Trace each suggestion in your mind back as far as you can. Once you have figured out the cause, then you may find it actually has nothing to do with the dentist at all! One of the most effective ways to find this connection and deal with the attached emotions is through therapy.

Keep calm and carry on!

Dentists have their patients’ best well-being at heart and want to ensure you feel relaxed during your appointment. This thought should help you as you try to keep calm in the dentist’s chair. If you have any issues or concerns, then discuss these with your dentist before you proceed; communication is key, and he or she will be able to advise you, calm you and put your mind at ease. In fact, most dentists, such as North London Dentist, are well versed in helping patients with dental anxiety so will likely have a number of suggestions and ways to enable you to relax.