How to Overcome Your Fear of the Dentist?
Are you afraid of dental visits? You are not alone. According to studies, many people avoid going to checkups because of anxiety and fear.
Dentist phobia is more serious than anxiety. It panics and terrifies people. People with dental phobia are aware that the fear is completely irrational, but they can’t do much about it. They do everything possible to avoid going to the dentist by displaying the classic avoidance behavior. People with dental phobia usually go to the dentist only when they are struggling with extreme pain. Pathological anxiety or phobia may require psychiatric consultation in some cases.
Other symptoms of dental phobia include:
. Trouble sleeping the night before a dental exam
.Increased feeling of nervousness in the waiting room
Crying or feeling physically ill at the thought of visiting the dentist
.Intense restlessness when you suddenly feel like you have difficulty breathing when an object is placed in your mouth during dental treatment.
Fortunately, there are ways to take people with dental anxiety and phobia to visit the dentist;
What Causes Dental Phobia and Anxiety?
There are many reasons why some people have dental phobia and anxiety. Some of the common causes are:
.Fear of pain: Fear of pain is a very common reason for avoiding the dentist. This fear often stems from an unpleasant or painful early dental experience or from dental “pain and fear” stories told by others. Thanks to the many advances made in dentistry over the years, many of today’s dental procedures are significantly less painful or even painless.
.Fear of injections or fear that the injection will not work: Many people are afraid of needles, especially when they are put in their mouths. Beyond this fear, others fear that the anesthetic has not yet taken effect or that the dose is not large enough to relieve any pain before the dental procedure begins.
.Fear of anesthesia side effects: Some people fear the possible side effects of anesthesia, such as dizziness, fainting or nausea. Others dislike the drowsiness associated with local anesthetics.
Feelings of helplessness and loss of control: It is common for people to have these feelings when sitting in the dentist chair with their mouth open and unable to see what is going on.
.Shame and loss of personal space: Many people are uncomfortable with the physical proximity of the dentist to their face. Others may feel self-conscious about the appearance of their teeth or possible bad breath.
The key to coping with dental phobia is to discuss your fears with your dentist. Once your dentist knows what your fears are, he or she will be able to work better with you to identify the best ways to make you less anxious and more relaxed. If your dentist does not take your fear seriously, you should seek another dentist.
If a lack of control is one of your main stressors, actively engaging in a discussion with your dentist about your treatment can relieve your tension. Ask your doctor to explain what happens at each stage of the procedure. This way you can mentally prepare for what will happen. Another helpful strategy is to make a sign when you want the dentist to stop immediately, such as raising your hand. Use this cue when you feel uncomfortable, need to rinse your mouth, or just need to hold your breath.