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Feb 04

Getting Over a Fear of the Dentist

Recent studies have shown that more than 30% of the world’s population would avoid the dentist because they have a phobia. This is a genuine fear. It is not like a small worry about dental procedures, it is more of a complete inability to even enter the dentist’s office, let alone sit in the chair.

These people will experience high levels of stress and anxiety, crying and complete panic when they are faced with going to the dentist. In the more extreme cases, they will faint. These patients would rather cope with crippling tooth pain over going to get help at the dentist.

Because these patients will put their visit off until they simply can’t cope with the pain anymore, they have often passed the point of treatment for certain gum conditions and the only option left for them is to have the infected teeth removed.

If this sounds familiar to you, then you should read ahead with this article, so you can learn about some coping methods and you can go to the dentist without fear.

Psychological Help

The first step is to get psychological help before going to the dentist. Some people are so scared of the dentist because they have had a bad experience previously. Therefore, they just need a little extra help to get over their previous experience.

Furthermore, if you get treatment from a psychologist before you go to the dentist, you could be taught some coping methods. You could still experience the fear, but you know how to cope with it. Each time you cope with the fear and get in the dentist’s chair, the fear will be reduced. This is something that might take a long time, but you will get there in the end.

Tell the dentist

If you know that you need to go to the dentist, because you can’t cope with the tooth pain anymore, then you should tell the dentist about your fear, when you make the appointment.

Some clinics will have nurses that help with relaxation methods before you go into the dentist’s room. Some methods include meditation, acupuncture and even massage.

It has been known for some dentists to perform the initial examination in the relaxation room because the patient will remain relaxed within that environment. This is because some people have a fear of the chair itself, rather than the actual dentist.

When the dentist knows that you are scared, he or she will treat you a little differently. They won’t do anything to you without telling you and they will walk you through everything that they are doing, even when they are just picking up new tools.

Some clinics might have a nurse that is trained in dealing with nervous patients and they will stay with you throughout the procedure.

Sedation

If you have tried everything that has been mentioned above and you still can’t go to the dentist, then the only option available to you is, sedation. You will be sedated as soon as you get in the dentist’s chair, so you aren’t really aware of anything that is being done to you.

Once you have been sedated a few times, you will begin to associate the dentist with being sedated and relaxed, so your levels of fear will decrease. However, if the dentist mentions seeing them without sedation, you will notice that you experience fear again.

Sedation is a great way to get the treatment that you need. After you have had the experience of sedation a few times, you won’t put off going to the dentist anymore, so you have a greater chance of reducing any tooth or gum damage.

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