Dental phobia is one of the most common types of phobia in the UK. Many of us experience a degree of anxiety when it comes to having dental treatment. However, a phobia is a profound fear, which can put patients off going to the dentist for long periods of time. If you suffer from dental phobia, this can put your health at risk. Here are 5 tips that may help you overcome your fears.
- Talk to your dentist: dentists can sometimes have a bad reputation, and you may actually be surprised to find out that your dentist is approachable, understanding and willing to do everything in their power to help you feel calm and relaxed. We have a very experienced team, and we have expertise in treating nervous patients. If you explain your worries to your dentist, they can take steps to make the prospect of coming in for treatment less daunting. They can reassure you, answer your questions, and tell you everything you need to know about the procedure you need.
- Take that first step: one of the main problems with dental anxiety is that it gets worse the longer you leave it. If you haven’t been to the dentist for a long time, there’s a higher risk of needing treatment. If you can take hat first step to overcoming your fears and go for a routine appointment, this will stand you in good stead for the future. Regular appointments reduce your risk of decay and gum disease dramatically.
- Pinpoint your phobia: you often find that people have specific phobias, which contribute to a fear of going to the dentist. Many people are afraid of needles, for example. If this is the case, your dentist can help you by using painless injections or carrying out treatment under sedation, for example.
- Control your breathing and think positively: when you’re anxious, it’s not just your mind you need to worry about. You may also notice physical changes, like your heart racing. Try and take deep breaths, and stay calm. Think positively. If you’ve got a negative mind-set, this will make you feel worse. If you’re going for a check-up, for example, think about it as a 5-minute period of your life, which will be over before you know it. If you break down the scenario and rationalise the situation, it will help you to cope.
- Steer clear of horror stories: many people are anxious about going to the dentist because of stories they’ve read in magazines or tales others have told them. The reality is that thousands of people go to the dentist every day without any problems at all.