If you experience fear about going to the dentist, you’re not alone. Studies show that about 50% of adults experience some level of fear about dental visits, with 5% of those suffering from severe anxiety. However, patient’s wishes for a nice smile and good oral health allow them to overcome their fears and visit their dentist in spite of their qualms.
These are some techniques that many patients use that enable them to get through their dental appointments successfully:
- Using internal resources – telling yourself you can do it even though you are nervous
- Prayer – relying on a higher power to help you through the treatment
- Self distraction – singing to yourself or playing mental games to keep your mind off of what’s happening
- Distancing – convincing yourself that any pain feels like something else, such as numbness
- Optimism – focusing on what’s ahead after your appointment is over
In fact, optimism seems to be one of the biggest keys to overcoming your dental fears. Patients who use this method have been shown to visit the dentist more regularly than other patients who suffer from anxiety about dental treatment. Studies also reveal that humor is another important part of dealing with dental visits. Humor can break down psychological barriers, and allow the patient to feel more comfortable in their interactions with the dentist and staff. An atmosphere of humor tends to reduce stress and increase a sense of well-being and satisfaction in a potentially nervous situation.
However, if none of these techniques work for you, sedation dentistry is a option to consider.
Whatever methods you implement to help you through your dental visit, the most important thing is sticking with it and returning again for your next visit. Your dental health is dependant upon regular dentist’s care.