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How to cope at the dentist if you are fearful

No one likes the dentist as it’s hardly the most exciting or relaxing experience in anyones life. For some the problem goes beyond this. Psychologists have studied many ways in which we as humans deal with fear and phobias. One of these is to avoid the ‘trigger’ that makes us fearful in the first place. It would seem to make sense – avoid what you are scared of and it will all be fine. The trouble with this is that rather than keeping you safe, it actually reinforces the fear and so makes it worse.

In terms of the dentist, there may become a time when you have to or need to visit the dentist and you have a high level of fear. This is the worst situation of all. In this article we look at some steps and things you can do to help alleviate your fear.

Some facts

Firstly understand that most dentists recognise that most people do not like the dentist and that there are a significant portion of people who are truly scared. A little understanding from the dentist towards the patient can go a long way, therefore communication and trust are important parts of this relationship.
Sometimes the longer it takes you to visit the dentist, the potential of consequences rises. Not only can it reinforce your fear, but it can actually be detrimental to your teeth and overall health. If you know you have an issue, it is best to try and resolve it as quickly as possible.
Nowadays you should be reassured by modern advances in science and technology. Visiting the dentist isn’t as bad as it was 20 or more years ago. Part of the reason why adults are scared to visit dentists is it brings back uncomfortable childhood memories of the experience. Times have changed for the better!

If you know dental phobia is a problem for you, then follow these steps as an initial way to overcoming the problem:

Ask friends and family if they can recommend a suitable dentist and one that specialises in dental anxiety. Here at Tamworth Dental and Implant Clinic we are experts in dealing with nervous patients so you have no need to worry.
Start small and work up. Perhaps an inspection might be all you can cope with the first time, and then gradually move up to a scale and polish and gain more confidence in your own ability.
Take someone with you if you think it will help calm your anxiety and actually get you to turn up. Most dentists are used to having plus one or two’s, as they are familiar with parents who go with their children for example.
It may help to agree some kind of signal with the dentist for when you feel uncomfortable and they can stop treatment. This may help you to feel more in control of the situation.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and discuss anything you need to or are unsure about. As already mentioned earlier having an honest and open relationship with your dentist is important for any client, but especially for those where fear is an issue.

To find out more on dental anxiety visit our nervous patients section.

Get in touch with us today on 01827 664 35