Visiting the dentist isn’t as straightforward to some as it is for others. Some people suffer from dental phobia, which makes routine trips to the dentist very difficult.
A phobia isn’t just a normal fear, they’re characterised by an irrational, intense panic response. Meaning it’s not easy to get over. If you have a dental phobia that makes your dentist visits a nightmare, this article is for you.
Reputable dental clinic, Portobello Dental offers the following tips to help you navigate your dental phobia.
Inform Your Dentist
Your dentist’s priority is making sure you’re safe and well. So informing them of your dental phobia means they’ll be prepared to help you in any way they can. Letting your dentist know either ahead of time or on the day, can ensure your appointment goes as smoothly as possible. Your dentist will accommodate your fear, doing what they can to calm your anxiety through the appointment.
Consider Conscious Sedation
Finding out you need to have some work done at the dentist whilst having a dental phobia is a frightening experience. But there’s no need to worry, there are some great options available for those with dental anxiety.
Conscious sedation is used to treat anxious patients; it’s a form of sedation that puts the patient into a deeply relaxed state whilst the dentist carries out their work. Conscious sedation still allows the patient to move, talk, and adjust their position. The effects of this sedation wear off an hour after treatment, so you’ll need someone to drive you home after.
Sedation may be an intimidating thought, especially for anxious individuals. However, conscious sedation has more advantages than disadvantages. The benefits include: feeling completely relaxed, not experiencing the nausea of general anaesthetic, and anxiety relief.
If your dentist offers this form of sedation, it’s worth considering, especially if you suffer from dental phobia.
Take A Loved One With You
The anxiety that comes with phobias can be a very overwhelming and isolating feeling. Bringing someone you trust with you to your appointment can help calm you down and make you feel more at ease.
One of the most effective ways to reduce anxiety is by distracting yourself. Ask your dentist if you can listen to music during your appointment as a form of distraction. This can help calm you down as you’re giving yourself something else to focus on than the triggering sounds and smells of the dentist’s room.
For every anxiety related issue, breathing exercises are known for being a quick and effective method in calming down. When you can feel the onset of panic, practice your breathing exercises. Whether you’re in the waiting room or need to take a minute in the dentist’s room, breathing exercises can help.
Inhale and count to 5, then hold for 5, and exhale for 5. This simple exercise can help regulate your nervous system and calm you down.
If your dental phobia is affecting your life and you wish to tackle the fear, talk to your GP.