8 Ways to Overcome Your Fear of the Dentist

Dental anxiety or phobia is a common problem faced by a significant percentage of patients. It can be described as a feeling of being afraid or nervous of going to the dentist. Some of the common fears include fear of the clinical environment, dental pain, loss of control, clinical equipment and needle phobia. Dentists have become accustomed to attending to nervous patients and use different approaches to make their visit easier and relaxed. Some of the techniques dentists use include distraction techniques, the light sedation as well as the dental wand which makes it easier for local anesthetic to be administered. Those who are very nervous can as well prepare for the visit by talking it through with a GP or dental practice beforehand or even having hypnotherapy. Below are eight ways to overcome your fear of the dentist. Connect with our Santa Clarita dentist for a dentist that understands your fears and is sensitive to your needs at (661) 290-2825!

Seek Information 

Arming yourself with the appropriate knowledge about what to expect during your visit to a dentist is a great tactic of taming your dental phobia. You should take your time to learn more about the dental procedure, dental equipment and the likely results by visiting as many trusted health websites as possible. You can also speak to dental experts and other people who have undergone the same treatment before so that you can have as much information as possible. Doing so will help relief you of some fears, especially if you hear positive reviews about the dental experience. 

Talk to the Dental Practice

One of the best and most reliable ways to have your worries settled and questions answered is by visiting a dental practice. Speak to the practice reception concerning your worries and unanswered questions. You will get advice on the help available as well as the best steps to take. There are dental practices and dentists who specialize in treating people with dental phobia, and you can find them online. Book an appointment with them where you will discuss about the available treatment options beforehand. This will play an instrumental role in developing a relationship with the dentist before undergoing any treatment. Additionally, it is advisable to stick with the same dentist for subsequent visits in order to become more and more comfortable. 

Talk to a GP

You can as well talk to your GP who will direct you to a professional specializing in cognitive behavioral therapy. This is a technique used to change your way of thinking about certain aspects of life. Cognitive behavioral therapy could be effective if your dental phobia is based on bad childhood experiences. After dealing with underlying anxiety, you will be able to visit a dentist without any fear. 

Hypnotherapy 

Although it’s not a medically certified way of treating anxiety, hypnotherapy helps a significant number of people feel more relaxed and better able to handle and cope with certain situations. It uses the power of suggestion to alter your mental approach to certain issues as well as overcome obstacles in your thinking. It is important to note that hypnotherapy can only be performed by a skilled and experienced professional, such as a behavioral therapist or a neuro-linguistic programming expert. The professional will talk you through the process step by step. In this approach, you will be able to exercise self-control and won’t be under the influence of someone else. Furthermore, you’ll be conscious and aware of your surroundings, making it possible for you to remember events as they happen.

The Distraction Technique

This technique involves the use of a pleasant stimulus that can keep your mind off the procedure, helping you to relax. For instance, you might prefer watching a DVD or listening to music or even an audio book. Therefore, you should inquire about the availability of these facilities before the actual treatment day. 

Bring a Friend

Bringing your friend can help you boost your confidence. It has been noted that a significant percentage of dental anxiety patients fare better when they come along with the close friend or relative. Luckily, most dentists won’t mind if you choose to be accompanied by a friend, especially if it will help ease the situation. Other dentists are also encouraging those with dental phobia to come with a friend. 

The Dental Wand

This is a device used by dentists to deliver local anesthetic without using needle injection. The anesthetic can be delivered slowly and in a controlled way into the gum making it impossible for you to feel the sharp pricking pain of conventional injection. The wand device injects the fluid very fast, gradually numbing the gum. This leads to reduced discomfort. 

Sedation

Although using dental sedation, including intravenous sedation and oral sedatives won’t make you unconscious, most forms will put you in a state of heightened tranquility while remaining awake. Sedatives may also diminish your sense of coordination and the powers of reasoning. Only specially trained dentists can administer sedatives because it calls for a dentist to be precise when administering the sedative. Being the main method of dealing with dental anxiety, intravenous sedation is safe, reliable and often used for invasive procedures due to the fact that it has an amnesic effect. A general anesthetic is often termed as a last resort and should only be used in the event that you were unable to undergo dental treatment through other methods. This procedure renders you completely unconscious throughout the procedure and will need someone to watch over you for the next 24 hours following the treatment. It is worth noting that undergoing treatment with the help of this method still leaves your underlying anxieties, especially when you can’t remember much of the experience. 

Conclusion

As highlighted above, there are various ways through which you can overcome your dental anxiety. Some of the methods are pretty simple, such as bringing a friend or seeking for additional information, while the rest need professionals to administer, including dental wand, sedation and hypnotherapy. If you want to overcome your dental fears completely, then it is advisable to have regular dental visits. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t worry if you’re suffering from dental phobia because our dentists at Aesthetic Dental & Specialty Center in Santa Clarita are trained and well experienced with latest technology to comfort individuals with all levels of dental anxiety.

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