Being scared or anxious about visiting the dentist is very common. In fact, this is something that affects so many people that it even has its own name: dentophobia.
Do you suffer from a fear of going to the dentist? We wanted to share some useful information to help you feel more relaxed during your time with us.
First off, remember that not liking the dentist is completely normal. At Aurora Dental, many of our patients feel anxious about attending their appointments and we will always do what we can to make their visits a little more comfortable. Like other fears, a dislike of the dentist can manifest itself in different ways and will range from mild anxiety to fully-fledged phobia. Either way, we will work with you to help you overcome these feelings of dread.
The next stage is to understand why you may be afraid of visiting the dentist. There are many potential explanations for this. For some people, going to the dentist may bring up distressing childhood memories. Others will find the smells, sights and sounds of the dentist uncomfortable and off-putting.
Certain individuals will also dislike the idea of pain or discomfort and may avoid the dentist due to fear of receiving bad news.
Some patients deal with visits to the dentist by practising self-hypnosis. There are many popular proven self-hypnosis techniques, including:
Self-hypnosis works by muting irrational thoughts and helping you to relax. Such techniques are commonly used in partnership with music, which is something we can arrange for you. You are also welcome to bring your own earbuds or noise-cancelling headphones. Just let us know prior to treatment.
Self-hypnosis techniques can be found online and should be practised before your visit. Remember, learning self-hypnosis takes time so you should do this well in advance of any treatment.
An affirmation is a short, simple statement. Positive affirmations can create positive feelings and emotions, increasing the number of ‘feel-good’ hormones in our bodies. If uttered regularly, positive affirmations can change the way we think. An example of a positive affirmation to repeat before visiting the dentist would be: ‘I’m attending the dentist today and it’s going to be fine’. Say this out loud in front of a mirror, or in your head. It may make a huge difference to your anxiety levels.
Booking morning appointments is a great way of managing your anxiety. Fewer people and less background noise can make you much calmer. This will also allow you to get your visit out of the way early, rather than spending all day anticipating the worst. If you do have a fear of the dentist, ask us for an early morning appointment. Our staff will accommodate your needs and make sure they work in a way that will make you feel most comfortable.
Our friends and family members can have an immensely calming effect on our emotions. That’s why we encourage nervous patients to ask a loved one to accompany them to their appointment. These people can either remain in the waiting room or sit with you during your appointment.
It helps to talk. Share your fears and anxieties with us and we will put your mind at ease. At Aurora Dental, we encourage all our patients to verbalise what they are feeling. Anxiety can come from uncertainty and being unsure about what a procedure entails. If you make your fears known, our treatment coordinators and dentists will spend time listening to your concerns and answering any questions you may have.
Questions can also be asked during treatment and the staff member performing this will answer your questions when they can. It’s also encouraged to ask for a break at any point during treatment. It may be useful to agree on a signal with your dentist beforehand so that they know when you would like a breather.
Although it may be necessary to perform certain procedures with local anaesthetic, you can also request sedation. Sedation is often advised in cases where patients may be overly nervous but should undergo treatment regardless.
Sedation helps patients to relax during dental procedures and will remove some of their anxiety. Patients will still be awake during treatment.
Aurora Dental is renowned for its commitment to patient-centred care. We excel when working with nervous patients and have a full understanding of what needs to be done to make everybody’s visit to the dentist as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.
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