*How to Overcome your Fear of Dentists

Thursday, August 02, 2018
Image from Refinery 29 via Pinterest 

So many people have an irrational fear of going to the dentist that it seriously affects their anxiety levels and mental health. Apart from affecting the patient negatively, the dental practice also suffers because quite often a patient will cancel their appointment the day before, or not even turn up for their appointment out of fear. This means that valuable dental slots are going empty that the surgery could have used for emergency dental appointments to help someone in urgent need. No matter if you are afraid of walking into the practice, or it is an issue with the dental tools or equipment being used, there are steps you can take to help you overcome your fear of going to the dentist. Let's take a look at some things you can do to ease your anxiety and build up your confidence.

Why do you fear the dentist?
Working out the exact cause or trigger for your dental phobia can be very useful to you. Is it a clash of personalities where you really don't like your dentist as a person? Do you consider him or her to have a bad bedside manner (or bad dental chair-side manner) where you don't think they are very gentle or careful with your dental procedures? Is it the dental tools and instruments that are used in the dental surgery that upset you? Are you scared of needles and worry about having an injection in your gums? Try to pinpoint the exact thing that worries you most and then you will be able to take steps to address your fears and calm your mind enough to get through an appointment.

A lot of anxieties about dental appointments arise from bad experiences as a child. Having a tooth out or a filling done at a young age can often leave a lasting negative impression on your mind. In truth, as an adult having the same treatment over again is not nearly as scary as it seemed as a child. These issues can be talked over with you dentist directly. Many dentists these days are very understanding and undergo special training to deal with anxious patients. So by letting your dentist know your fears, they can change their procedures to better help ease your fears.

If it's dental tools that scare you, then your dentist will know to keep these well hidden out of sight while you are entering the surgery. Many treatment rooms are designed and decorated specifically to help deal with nervous patients. They may include a sofa, a TV and radio, as well as decorated to look comfortable and inviting – just like a typical front room in a home environment.

Fear of losing control
A lot of anxious patients will avoid going to the dentist because they are put into a situation that they have no control over. Often the thought of having a complete stranger's fingers in your mouth while you cannot talk can be a terrifying idea. According to psychologists, this is quite a normal human response where we will naturally want to protect our open airways from attack. Sometimes a patient can hold such strong fears of going to the dentist that they will purposefully choose to eat soft foods to avoid damaging their teeth. This way they believe they can avoid every having to attend a dentist for any repair work, or to fix a broken tooth.

A lot of these anxieties can be overcome by having a period of adjustment where you get to know your dentist and your dental team well in advance of having any treatment. This can involve booking a session where you get shown around the practice and introduced to the staff. Having a chat and a cup of tea or coffee with the people that are there to take care of you can build a level of trust that can greatly help you get over a lot of your 'control' issues. Booking an extra-long session for your treatments will also help. This can allow you to talk to your dentist and relax before any treatments take place.

Are you scared of the dentist? Do you have any tips to overcome that fear? 

*This is a sponsored post
*Image from Pinterest 

22 comments

  1. I’ve never had that fear of the dentist. It doesn’t bother me at all.

    http://littlemissmelanie.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. My reason of being afraid of dentists is simple it hurts and always something happens and I know they don't do it on purpose, but it just so nasty experience, specially when you go get your wisdom tooth pulled out :|

    Laura
    https://pinkfrenzymissl.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm not too bad with the dentist, I used to love it as a kid!

    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is a really interesting post for me as I'm currently in my second year of dental school! Dental anxiety is such a BIG thing! For some anxious patients, I would advise visiting the uni dental hospital as students are often much gentler, explain things much better as they have more time with the patient! And its free so :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. The dentist isn't something I get worried about at all, but I know a lot of people who do get really worried about it. My son loves it - all for the stickers lol

    Erin || MakeErinOver

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have such bad anxiety that even the smell of the dentist triggers me. That's why my teeth are so awful and you'll never see me smile with them on show.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I’ve always hated the dentist since I was a kid but I hate anything medical / medical environment.

    Jenny
    http://www.jennyinneverland.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. My fear of my teeth falling out overpowers my fear of dentists.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The dentist has never really bothered me which is a good job since I had braces

    ReplyDelete
  10. We have a dentist in the family, so he makes me feel calm thankfully! But I'm obsessed with caring for my teeth anyway, so I would force myself to a dentist regardless of fear!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I don’t have a fear but I’m just so lazy to go ahhh x

    ReplyDelete
  12. Some really good tips here lovely and I’m glad to say it isn’t one of my fears x

    ReplyDelete
  13. I think the dentist is just one of those things, like going to the doctors/optometrist x

    ReplyDelete
  14. I luckily don't have an issue going to the dentist, but I know so many who do!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Great tips thankfully I have never been scared of the dentist. Xx

    ReplyDelete
  16. I don't actually mind the dentist which is good considering I've had 4 wisdoms out, 2 root canals and about 56000 fillings over the years! x

    ReplyDelete
  17. My nan is terrified of the dentist, but luckily, I've never been scared of them at all! xx

    Brooke | www.brookeclarke.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. I absolutely HATE the dentist - I'm petrified and have a genuine fear. I know how important it is though and force myself to go yearly and never cancel my appointment/do a no-show xo

    Char | www.charslittleblog.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  19. The dentist is one of my worst fears!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I hate the dentists, but I'm not afraid of it. I'm more afraid of the smear test!

    ReplyDelete

Feel free to leave me a comment, I read all of them!

If you would like to contact me with a question or PR information email me at: heathernixon4@gmail.com