6 Ways to Beat Your Dental Phobia
article by Raha Sepehrara
Many people fear dentists, dental treatments, and even the room where we perform treatments. But for some, these worries and anxieties can mean they don’t get vital dental treatment, and their health suffers.
Dental phobia is a serious issue affecting more people than you think. For some, it’s the result of a bad experience during their life, while for others, it’s something they’ve carried with them since childhood.
Although it’s not easy, it’s possible to overcome dental phobia. With the help of the right dental team, you can enjoy better oral health and a smile you love without crippling anxiety preventing your treatment.
Here are six ways you can beat your fear of the dentist.
1. Choose a Dental Phobia-Certified Dentist
Before you even step foot in a dental clinic, you need to know your dentist is sympathetic to your dental phobia.
But how do you know when you’ve never met them?
Dental Phobia is an organisation that certifies dentists have the skills and compassion to treat nervous patients.
Our principal dentist at Dental Suite, Dr Kalpesh Bohara, is Dental Phobia-certified. This means he’s got the patience to help you when you’re most anxious.
2. Tell Us About Your Fears
Once you’ve made your appointment with us, we’d like to know how we can best help you. Understanding your fears allows us the opportunity to learn how we can adapt our treatment.
For some, their fears centre around the tools we use, others worry about pain and discomfort, while many dislike the feeling they’re not in control. You may hate the feel of latex, the clinical smell, or worry that you’ll gag.
These are all rational fears, and we can provide a more mindful treatment if we know about them.
3. Ask Questions
Ahead of any treatment, ask us lots of questions. The more you know what to expect, the easier it’ll be to anticipate what will happen.
We’ll do our best to give you plenty of information, along with the opportunity to ask questions during your consultation.
4. Use Breathing and Grounding Techniques
Whether you’re booked in for a check-up or a treatment that you feel anxious about, learning a few deep breathing exercises and grounding techniques can help calm you down when you feel panicked.
Negative thoughts and worries cause our bodies to release hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. These are designed to tell our bodies we’re in danger and prepare us to fight or take flight.
To counteract this, you can take a few deep breaths. This sends more oxygen to the area of your brain used for thinking while telling your parasympathetic nervous system the danger has gone.
But dealing with worrying thoughts can also help. Using mindful grounding techniques focusing on your senses helps reframe your thoughts and distract you from anxiety.
5. Use Distractions
For many people with dental phobia, listening to music or their favourite podcast can help distract them. Feel free to bring along some headphones and something to listen to music on. Let your favourite tunes distract you from what’s going on around you.
6. Consider Sedation Dentistry
To feel completely at ease during your treatment, we offer sedation dentistry. Here, you’ll remain awake and conscious, aware of what’s happening around you. However, you will not only feel no pain or discomfort but also experience a completely anxiety-free treatment.
Sedation is one of the best stepping stones to help you overcome your phobia. Many patients who have had sedation find it easier to return for checkups or treatments in the future.
Fight Your Phobia at Dental Suite
Dental phobia can be managed. With the support of the team at Dental Suite, we can help you take control of your oral health and fight the fears holding you back.
Call today to schedule an appointment with our Dental Phobia-certified dentist.