Dental anxiety: 3 ways to stop fearing the dentist
If you ever get nervous just thinking about going to the dentist, you’re not alone. Perhaps you are scared the visit might hurt or you haven’t been in a while and not sure what the dentist will find.
Dental anxiety can arise due to multiple factors, such as previous negative or traumatic experience, especially in childhood, vicarious learning from anxious family members, sensory triggers such as sounds of the drill and smell of dental materials, etc…
Whatever your reason, the dentists and team at Camberwell Junction Dental will make sure your dental and emotional health are taken care of. Use these strategies at your next appointment to help ease your anxiety.
1. Speak up
- Tell your dentist about your anxiety. Get your concerns off your chest and just by sharing your feelings with your dentist and dental team will make a world of difference.
- When you call to book your appointment, tell the receptionist you’re nervous about dental visits. Remind the dentist and dental staff about your anxiety when you arrive. Share any bad experiences you may have had in the past, and your main fears at the dentist.
- Agree on a signal. Let your dentist know by raising your hand if you need to take a break during the appointment.
- Tell your dentist if you experience any pain or discomfort and don’t get embarrassed about your pain tolerance as every patient is different.
2. Distract Yourself
- Wear headphones. If the sound of the drill bothers you, bring headphones so you can listen to your favourite band or music whilst have your dental treatment.
- Occupy your hands by squeezing a stress ball.
3. Relaxation Techniques
- Count your breaths. Inhale slowly and then exhale for the same number of counts. Do this five times while you’re waiting for your appointment, or during breaks while you are sitting in the dental chair.