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8 Ways To Cope With Fear of the Dentist

04-12-2023

While going to the dentist may not be anyone’s idea of fun, if you’re scared or have anxiety around any aspect of your dental care, even thinking about an upcoming appointment or treatment can cause panic. 

Dental anxiety is a common problem, but it’s one you should not ignore. Missing checkups and avoiding essential treatments could mean you’ll need more invasive procedures in the future while causing health issues and affecting your smile. 

Fortunately, there are lots of tried and tested ways to overcome dental anxiety. At Kreate Dental, we’re here to help you get the best care possible. If you’re nervous, there are things we can do, and there are lots of ways you can help yourself. 

Here are eight of the most effective ways to cope with your fear of the dentist. 

1. Talk About Your Fears

As dentists, we often meet patients who are nervous or even phobic of dental treatments. We’re here to listen to your worries and understand you. By talking through your fears, we can find ways to treat you in a way that’s more comfortable for you. 

You may have had a bad experience in the past, or you may have always been scared of the dentist. Try to be specific with your potential triggers. The more we know, the better. 

2. Bring Someone You Trust

You don’t need to come to the clinic alone. If you’re anxious, having someone you know and trust beside you can calm you. This could be a family member, your partner, or a good friend. 

Whoever you bring to support could offer reassurance or hold your hand when you feel anxious. 

3. Visit Us During Quiet Times

We want you to have the most relaxed experience possible. Booking your appointment for the quietest time of the day can relieve some of the stress and pressure surrounding your visit.

Talk to our team to find a time that best suits you. 

4. Listen To Music

Music, audiobooks, and podcasts offer a great distraction from anxious thoughts. We have a SONOS system in the practice, which we can play music through to distract you. Alternatively, bring noise-cancelling headphones. This can help block out any sounds that you may find triggering. 

5. Try Deep Breathing

Anxiety is a direct response to a perceived danger. You experience anxiety when your body produces adrenaline. This hormone is designed to prepare you to fight or take flight. Adrenaline increases your heart rate, speeds up your breathing, and redirects your blood from your brain to your muscles. You are primed to respond to danger. 

Slowing your breathing down can help reverse the effects of adrenaline. By repeatedly breathing in very slowly over a few seconds, holding your breath for the same amount of time, and then breathing out slowly, your heart rate will gradually decrease, and you will find it easier to think rationally. 

Practice deep breathing before your appointment so that when you need to do it, you know what works for you. 

6. Consider Sedation

Sedation helps you relax during a dental treatment. You will remain awake, but it will remove feelings of anxiety. We offer two types of sedation. Oral sedation puts you in a dreamlike state. You will know what’s going on around you, but you will remain calm. 

Intravenous sedation provides a deeper state of relaxation. This can make you very sleepy, and you probably won’t remember much of your appointment. 

If you are receiving sedation, you will need someone to drive you home after your treatment. 

7. Speak To Your GP

Your doctor can help you if you are scared of the dentist. Because dental care is essential to your general health, your doctor may prescribe medication to help you deal with the anxiety associated with your treatment. 

8. Consider Therapy

Various forms of therapy can help you overcome your dental anxiety for good. Hypnotherapy, as well as talking therapy like CBT can help you develop a more positive mindset around your dental care. 

Nervous Patients at Kreate Dental

If you have anxiety about any aspect of your dental care, we want to know. We’re here to help and we’ll work together to make your experience as positive as possible. 

Get in touch today to schedule your next appointment.

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