Going to the dentist for bi-annual cleanings and for serious appointments, such as root canals, requires the ability to keep the appointment, whatever it is. However, some people have a fear of the dentist which has kept them away from the dentist’s chair for specific appointments or just in general. Some people haven’t been to the dentist in years or only go when it’s absolutely necessary.
Fear of the dentist can occur because of a variety of reasons that exist in a person’s life.
- You may have had a traumatic physically painful experience with a dentist when you were a child
- You may highly dislike the feeling of dental tools in your mouth
- You may be highly sensitive to pain in general, and so you avoid the dental chair and the possible pain you could feel
- You may have been sexually abused and never want to be a situation where you are not in control
Staying away from the dentist for any reason is not good for you or your health. Teeth that have not been cleaned or otherwise taken care of can bleed and rot. Dental diseases can spread from the teeth and gums to other areas of the body, such as the eyes causing blindness.
How do you overcome your fear of the dentist?
Meditation Before Your Appointment
One of the best and natural ways to cure fear is through meditation which includes deep breathing and mindfulness. Schedule a meditation time 30 minutes before you are due to get in your car or while you walk to the dentist office. Meditation helps to calm nerves, reduce your heart rate and clear your mind. If you’ve never meditated, meditation apps can help guide you along.
Inquire if You Can Have Someone Sit With You
Not allowed at every dentist office, but inquire if you can bring along a friend or relative to sit with you while you are seen by the dentist. Often, having someone you know or love with you by your side can ease the tension.
Listen to Music
Listening to music is another way to calm fear as long as the music is suitable for lowering heart rate and bringing you closer to mindfulness and away from the fear of your upcoming dental appointment. Listen to calming music while you drive or walk to the dentist office. Enquire if you can listen to music during your dental appointment.
Inquire about Sedatives.
Depending on what you’re getting done, a dentist may okay the use of sedatives in cases where they aren’t typically needed.
Get Professional Help
Professional help from a licensed counselor or a psychiatrist is a powerful way to get help for fear. He or she can get to the root of your problem and if they are a medical doctor prescribe a prescription medication that can help you deal with your anxiety.
Fear of the dentist happens to a percentage of the population, but it doesn’t have to be permanent. Look to ways to reduce your fear of the dentist to get the dental treatment you need.