Dreading the Dentist? Here's How You Can Curb Your Fear

Are you nervous about your upcoming dentist's visit? Sitting in a recliner chair as your dentist in Richmond inspects your mouth can be a nerve-wracking experience. But for the sake of oral health, most of us bite the bullet and keep to our scheduled appointments. One in 25 people are fearful of the dental practitioner. They are dental-phobic. From a singular bad childhood experience, or a dread of injections and more, the reasons for this terror varies, but its effect is damaging all the same, especially if you start avoiding your oral health checks. Modern-day dentists are not the cold and compassionless professionals they were once accused of being, and thanks to modern medicine, like anaesthesia, your pain and discomfort, is kept to a minimum. 

Unpacking the stereotypes of dental anxiety 

"Dentists do not care about my physical discomfort." 
When asked to picture the dentist, we imagine a person wearing a mask and yielding tools that make screeching sounds - someone scary who enjoys inflicting pain on others. Our imaginations tend to run wild and are far from the truth. A dental practitioner will do everything in his or her power to alleviate your discomfort and pain as much as possible. Disclose your fear of pain to your doctor if you feel that it is overwhelming, and he or she will offer comfort, the possibility of going under sedation if you require surgery or pain-free injections. 

"They judge on me the state of my teeth." 
Dental practitioners are professionals with years of experience. They have seen all manner of dental issues, and so yours is not unique. They understand that you might not have clean teeth or perfect hygiene, and are only there to help you achieve and maintain optimal oral health. 

"Financial worries - going to the dentist is expensive." 
Regular checkups twice a year to correct small issues will save you money in the future for more extensive and more expensive treatments. 

Tips and techniques to induce calmness 

Just breathe
Nervous people tend to hold in their breath, which decreases the level of oxygen circulating the blood, thus increasing the feeling of panic. Focus on your breathing - breathe slowly and regularly. 

Listen to music 
The sounds of your favourite tunes over drills is bound to be a comfort for you. Pop in your headphones and put on a playlist while your dentist works away. 

Choose a low-stress time. 
Find a day where your schedule is not too busy. Having to think about the stress of your dentist alongside other stressful things in your life might be too much for you to handle. 

Use hand signals 
There might be times when you feel distressed during the procedure. Using a series of hand signals, ask your dentist to stop for a while so you can take a quick break. 

Going to the dentist is not anyone's favourite activity, but it is something that you need to do regularly. If you have dental anxiety, there are simple tricks you can follow to make the experience less stressful.