Not a Big Fan of The Dentist?

How to Get Over Your Dental Anxiety and Nerves

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Does the thought of visiting a dentist make you nervous or anxious in any way? If so, you may wish to identify the root cause before finding out what can be done about it. If negative past experiences or tooth sensitivity makes you feel queasy in a dental chair to the extent that you have been avoiding dental procedures - it is time to take action. If such fears deter you from seeking professional dental attention, they may put you at risk of developing dental ailments or even chronic problems with your teeth and gums.

Find the Root Cause

First of all, it is natural to feel a little bit anxious before a dentist appointment. While there are varying degrees of dental phobias, they can mostly be traced to several causes. Is it due to a prior negative experience? Ask yourself why that experience was bad, the circumstances that gave rise to it and whether it was a one-off occurrence as opposed to a problem with dental clinics in general. Are you embarrassed by the condition of your teeth? Don’t be. Dentists see similar cases on a daily basis and cannot help you if they do not know the full extent of your dental condition. Was it a particular dentist or clinic that left a negative impression? Some dentists and dental staff lack the sensitivity required for the profession but lacklustre service should be expected from time to time. Don’t let a few bad apples spoil the whole cart for you.

Meet Your Dentist Before Treatment

This will especially help if you have had a negative past experience. Getting to know your dentist prior to treatment – and building good rapport with your healthcare provider – is a great way to reduce the fear of the unknown and counter whatever negative pre-conceived notions you might have.

Try Some Relaxation Methods

If you understand the psychology of pain, you would know that it is the brain that amplifies the signal being responsible for 80 to 90 per cent of the pain you experience. The minute you cast your attention away from the pain, the pain decreases significantly as the amplification is no longer necessary.

Some self-help relaxation methods you can during a dental appointment include:

  • Gazing at a small object in the room

  • Focusing your attention on it while keeping your vision soft and slightly out of focus

  • Counting the number of times you exhale

  • Repeat a phrase that puts your mind at rest – like “I feel relaxed and am doing really well”

  • Visualising a safe place, whether real or imagined.

All these self-hypnosis methods are designed to help you induce a sense of calm and relaxation when you feel tense or uncomfortable. You’d be surprised how well they can help during a dental procedure.

Sedation Dentistry Options

If the above do not work as well as you have hoped, do not worry. With the advancement of modern medicine, there are several forms of sedation dentistry options available. Whether you are more suited for Sleep Dentistry, Inhalation Sedation (happy gas) or General Anaesthesia, these sedation methods can help nervous patients feel comfortable and relaxed during a dental procedure.

For more information on how sedation dentistry can help, click here. If you would like to book a consultation regarding Sedation Dentistry with one of our friendly dentists at Morgan Street Dental Centre, call us on 6921 9500 today!

cheryl cheung