Posted on: 11 June 2015
People with dental fear/anxiety/phobia feel a sense of great unease at the thought of undergoing a dental procedure. As a result, they are likely to cancel or skip out on important dental treatments, much to the detriment of their dental health. However, dental fear/anxiety/phobia can be undone, and one way to do so is to see your dentist often. Read on to see how this can help:
Understand that there's nothing to fear
In truth, dental anxieties are not rational. They are mainly psychological and do not point to a real danger in the dentist's chair. Such fears are stimulated by experiences such as negative portrayals of dentistry in films, childhood threats about the dentist or fear of the unknown in general.
The factual truth is that there is nothing to fear about dental procedures. Dentistry is a highly professional field carried out by understanding practitioners who have dealt with hundreds of people suffering from dental anxiety in the past. Modern technology has also made dental treatments much friendlier over the years. Injections, for example, are significantly less painful. Furthermore, most dental procedures such as teeth cleaning, teeth whitening or fitting of braces do not even bear any discomfort.
By going to the dentist, therefore, you can learn firsthand that there really is nothing to dental anxiety, other than the anxiety itself. The more dental visits you make, the more you'll diminish this psychological anxiety/fear.
Reverse past negative dental experiences
A big contributor of dental anxiety is past negative experiences. These may entail a painful dental injury or an unpleasant dental experience. Although such experiences can taint one's perception of the present, the best way to overcome them is to go to the dentist more. This way, you can unlearn those negative experiences and learn new positive ones. With time, your past experience will just be one negative memory out of many positive ones, and thereby harmless.
Learn ways of coping with dental anxiety
Another advantage of combating dental fear by going to the dentist more is that you get to learn new ways of coping with your anxiety. The underlying fear may not go away completely, but you can learn how to keep it manageable, such that you're still able to go to the dentist.
Common techniques used to cope with dental anxiety/phobia include: listening to music as a distraction, bringing a friend along, talking to the dentist first about the processes and tools to be used, telling your dentist about your fear and even getting sedated during dental processes.
According to this report by the Australian Dental Journal, about 18% of Australians have dental fear/phobia. If you feel you belong to this category; start going to the dentist's more and take charge of your dental health.Share