Many people are afraid of going to the dentist for a variety of different reasons. Maybe you had a bad experience with a dentist once or you have never been to the dentist. No matter what the reason, there are plenty of ways to get over that stress and anxiety of going to the dentist. You need to turn that negative into a positive, but it takes a little work. Approximately 33% of adults do not like going to the dentist. As a matter of fact, some people (one out of 10) are so stressed out about the dentist they just do not go at all. Here are some tips to help you de-stress your visit:
Talk to Your Dentist
The best way to get rid of stress is with knowledge. You may be afraid of certain things you think is going to hurt, but if you talk to your dentist about these issues you can find out that there is virtually no pain in most dental visits. The first visit just includes you sitting in the chair, letting them take X-rays, and clean your teeth so the dentist can look at your mouth. Talk you your dentist or to the dental hygienist and ask them exactly what they are going to do. Tell them to explain it to you as they go so you know what to expect.
When you are sitting and waiting for the dentist either out in the waiting room or in the chair, practice deep breathing. Concentrating on how you breathe takes the pressure off your mind so start by breathing in and out through your nose very slowly. Count each breath so you give your mind something to do.
Severe Stress (Panic Attack)
Sometimes your stress is so high that you cannot take care of it by talking to your dentist or with breathing exercises. If you are so stressed out that you have physical symptoms such as hyperventilating, shaking, fast heart rate, and elevated blood pressure, you may need extra help.
Therapy to control your fear of the dentist is very helpful in some cases. Talking to a counselor can alleviate your major fears and help you to find a way to curb that fear. The therapy is free on the NHS, so you can get help without it costing you a dime.
If your fear cannot be helped by any of the above methods, but you still need to see a dentist, the dentist can provide sedation to relax you during the procedure. Although this is not the best choice for handling your fear of the dentist, it may end up being your only choice. You will still be awake, but you will be sedated. The sedation can be a pill or an injection, but either way you will be so relaxed you may not remember what happened during your visit. With this method, your dentist will have to talk to your doctor or see your medical records to be sure you are physically able to handle the medication. No matter which method you use, after you have been to the dentist once or twice, your anxiety may just disappear.