Being nervous about receiving dental treatment is very normal. Many patients experience discomfort or anxiety around sitting in the dentist’s chair. For some, this nervousness comes from fears about pain, worries about treatment, losing control, or embarrassment or unease around us looking into their mouths.
In many of these situations, patients can push past their worries and get treatment. But if you suffer from a more severe form of dental phobia, the thought of a checkup or undergoing a procedure can cause panic.
Oral care is essential to your overall health, and missing out on all-important treatments could seriously impact you. So, if you have dental phobia, how do you get the treatment you need?
This article explores tried-and-tested ways to overcome your dental phobia and receive life-enhancing treatments.
What Causes Dental Phobia?
Everybody is unique, and there’s no single cause of dental phobia. You may have developed your fear of the dentist as a child by either picking up on the phobias of parents or other family members or through an early negative experience.
If you’ve suffered a severe trauma or disease in the past that affected your oral health, this could cause you to become fearful of treatment.
Your dental phobia may form part of a wide anxiety. Mental health problems can make you fearful of certain situations.
How Can We Help You Overcome Dental Anxiety?
If you’re experiencing dental pain, it’s often a sign of decay or infection. In both instances, it’s important to receive treatment promptly to prevent further issues. But if you need treatment, the first step is overcoming or learning to manage your anxiety.
A caring and supportive dentist can help you tackle the things you’re most scared of. We understand how fears build, and can work with you to deliver your treatment in a way that takes your anxiety into account. When you book an appointment
Talking through your anxieties allows us a chance to carefully create a bespoke treatment plan around you. Together, we can agree on how you can communicate that you need us to take a break.
Before any procedure, we’ll always talk you through what to expect and answer any questions you may have. Having a full understanding of the procedure can reduce feelings of uncertainty and anxiety.
What Can You Do for Yourself?
You may feel powerless around your anxiety, but there are several things you can do to help manage your feelings.
If possible, when you visit our clinic, bring someone with you. Choose someone that knows you well, that you feel comfortable around when you feel anxious. Having that extra support can make a big difference.
Bring music with you. Listening to music through headphones can help shift your attention away from what’s happening around you.
Learning grounding and mindfulness techniques can also help. Deep breathing, and channeling your thoughts away from anxious worries can help reduce feelings of panic.
Can Dental Sedation Help?
If you’re due to receive a treatment that you’re anxious about, sedation can help. We provide pre-treatment sedations as well as anaesthesiologist-administered IV sedation.
During dental sedation you will remain conscious. Although you’ll be aware of what’s happening around you, you’ll feel completely relaxed and in an almost dreamy state.
If you’re receiving sedation, it’s important that someone comes with you. Sedatives can leave you feeling drowsy for a while after your procedure, so you cannot drive.
Overcoming Dental Phobia With SmileMore
At SmileMore, we’re here to help nervous patients feel at ease. Whether you’re visiting us for a routine checkup, or a more complex procedure, we’ll support you every step of the way.
Call our friendly team today to schedule your appointment.