Do you have an irrational fear of the dentist? The kind of fear that keeps you from going to the dentist until the physical pain of not going is stronger than your fear? If so, you might be suffering from a condition called dental phobia. Dental phobia is a most extreme form of dental fear, an absolute avoidance of dental care unless it is causing physical duress or pain. The term itself covers a wide array of dental fears and sub-types of dental fear. Dental anxiety is basically what most people experience at the thought of having to go to the dentist and fearing that you might hear some news in reference to your teeth or gums that you did not want to hear. This kind of fear usually subsides once you are in the dental chair. Dental fear is more like the kind a child might feel when they are told they have a dental visit planned.
Overcoming Dental phobia
There are ways to manage dental phobia and great dentists are well trained in how to handle patients who are experiencing fear of the dental visit. Their goal is to minimize the anxiety for the client in order to receive regular dental care. Some of the ways your stress can be minimized includes:
This involves the use of anaesthesia or intravenously administering a sedative to relax the patient. Relief could also be in the form of a pill given to reduce anxiety to be taken before your dental visit. Dentist may also anesthetize the area using Novocain prior to the start of your treatment. This ensures your visit will not only be relaxing, but virtually pain free.
Distracting yourself with music or movies
The sound of the drill can be a trigger for dental phobia. Some dentist, aware of their patients fear, will have music piped in to camouflage the sound of the drill. You can also bring your own music and a pair of ear buds and drown out the sound of the drill that way. Some dentist may have a movie on while you are sitting in the chair as a way to relax you before they come into the room. Some clients become so absorbed in the movie that they hardly realize that their visit is over and it was a breeze.
Acupuncture involves inserting needles into various points on the body to alleviate a myriad of ailments. Sometimes, a dentist may find that their client does not want to conform or respond to traditional forms of treatment. The response to acupuncture is varied; some clients experienced no improvement in their level of anxiety while others said they experienced a degree of comfort from the treatment. The specific details of the treatment can be tailored to the client.
Reflexology is based on the principle that the whole body is represented on the specific areas of your feet or your hands. It is a natural and holistic therapy and should not be used in place of seeking medical treatment if your condition is severe. Reflexology techniques can be used to induce deep relaxation. This in turn can help with general anxiety associates with seeing your dental practitioner.
Hypnotherapy might help you identify where your phobia originated and in turn will help you overcome your fear. Hypnosis can help with eliminating fear, it can help prevent gagging and nausea, help with relaxation and control of anxiety. Hypnosis should be performed by a qualified hypnotist or a dentist with qualifications in hypnosis.
Bringing someone who cares about you to the visit
Having a friend or partner sit with you during the treatment can be a relief for some clients.
Dental Spas to overcome dental phobia
A dental spa is a dental facility that offers other services in addition to regular dental care. This facility is usually supervised by a licensed Oral Health care provider. These services can include but are not limited to facials and massages. The idea is that dental spas work for the clients whole being and these extra services are there to help the dental patient relax should they need it. This makes it easier for dentist to perform their exams and treatments.
There are ways to combat the debilitating fear associated with a visit to the dentist. Employing one or more of the ideas listed above can help ease the dental phobia. The first step however comes from having a discussion with your dentist. Explain your concerns and make sure that you are comfortable with your practitioner. If they are a good dentist, then they will do everything in their power to ensure that you are comfortable.
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