1 in 4 of us dread visiting the dentist in the UK. When it comes to having a tooth drilled 30% of us are extremely anxious and 28% of us fear injections. There are many ways to overcome your fear. So today we take a look at some of the various techniques patients and dentists can use to help alleviate dental anxiety.
Distraction is an effective way of changing your mood. Try concentrating on something else and absorb your thoughts into it to distract you from what the dentist is doing. For best results, the thing that you concentrate on should be both absorbing and interesting to you. The distraction technique works as it will interrupt your mood and force you to shift into another gear of thought processes.
Using sedation doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be rendered unconscious. Sedation can be administered using IV (intra-venous) or orally (a tablet you take will make you feel drowsy).
IV is given by injection, which is either administered in the back of the hand or in the arm. The amount given will ultimately depend on the type of treatment needed and the length of the procedure. You won’t be fully aware of everything going on around you although you’ll still be awake (but in a very relaxed state).
With oral sedation, you’re fully aware of everything going on around you, but because you’re drowsy, it takes the edge off things.
Although this technique isn’t a medically proven or certified in any way to cure anxiety, it can help people to feel more relaxed and better able to cope with feeling anxious at the dentist. This technique works by using the power of suggestion to help alter your mental approach to certain problems. This should then help you to overcome those obstacles in your thinking, i.e. dental anxiety.
Bring a friend as moral support
Sometimes it’s the most simplest of things that can help to boost your confidence when visiting the dentist. Bringing a friend along for morale support is just one of them. Simply not being alone in the dentist chair can boost your confidence and help overcome your anxiety. Also most dentists will not mind if you wish to bring someone in with you. However, if your anxiety stems from one particular episode, just talking to your dentist about it could be enough to help you feel better.
Try exercising before visiting the Dentist
Exercising releases endorphins which can help you feel more relaxed. It can also help to acclimatise your body to stress and make that difficult visit to the dentist somewhat easier.
It isn’t recommended that you turn up to the dentist straight after a workout. Just do some light exercise before your appointment to help relax you and keep your body relaxed as well.
There is a lot of support available out there. Various websites like Dental Fear Central can provide online support networks as well as guidance on different dentists who are helpful and relaxing. If your fears still persist then you may need to seek help from the NHS. Remember that dental anxiety is a very common condition. By working with your dentist and the people around you, you can make visiting the dentist a less stressful experience.