Millions of people struggle with dental phobia. It is a visceral reaction that makes every trip to the dentist something of an ordeal. It’s a genuine fear and goes back for as long as we’ve had dentists.
Dental phobias, however, aren’t always rational. Your brain believes that it is protecting you from a grave threat, but it is the opposite. Dental work tends to improve your oral health over the long-term.
The signs of dental phobia are pretty recognizable. It comes with low blood pressure, a racing heart, visible distress, sweating, and much more.
Of course, dental phobia isn’t benign. People need to go to the dentist to have work carried out on their teeth. When they don’t get it, it can lead to all sorts of long-term problems that make life worse. Dental care is essential, and it is vital to catch things early.
So what can you do to manage the condition? Is there a way to fight back so that you can get the care you need?
Remind Yourself That Modern Dentistry Is Largely Pain-Free
It was rational to be afraid of the dentist in the nineteenth century. You only went when you were absolutely desperate and in a lot of pain. There was no anesthetic or sedation – just you and the forceps.
But that world came to an end a long time ago. Modern clinics developed powerful ways to reduce pain a long time ago. And most people’s experience is entirely pleasant. Much of the distress is psychological.
Paying for the dentist can be another source of stress. But as Humana Dental Insurance points out, you don’t necessarily have to hand over cash every time you want treatment. You just sign up for insurance and then get the services you need when you need them. It helps make things more predictable and encourages you to go to the dentist as soon as you need help.
Try Deep Breathing
You can sometimes feel a little panicky on the way to the dentist. That’s perfectly normal, even for people who go regularly. Deep breathing is one of the most powerful techniques that you can try if you find yourself struggling to hold it together. By counting to five as you breathe in and out, you can reset your fight-or-flight system and feel a lot calmer than you otherwise would.
Many people like to try hypnosis to overcome their fear of the dentist. The technique involves accessing the parts of your unconscious that are causing the reaction and inhibiting them. The methods are a little strange, but they can make a massive difference to your sense of wellbeing the moment you hit the dentist’s chair.
Ask For Sedation
Some techniques, such as tooth extractions and root canal, involve a lot of pulling, tugging, and drilling. Even if you don’t experience any pain, these sensations can be uncomfortable. Many dental clinics, however, offer sedation techniques that eliminate much of your anxieties.