The reasons for being afraid of the dentist vary for different people. It is sometimes the thought that any treatment will hurt, or that the sounds and smells bring back memories of experiences during childhood that would rather be forgotten.
The good news is that nowadays, dentists understand people's fear, and with a combination of gentleness and kindness, dentist's can deliver dental treatment without any stress at all.
If you have not visited a dentist for several years due to fear, you can rest assured that dentistry has greatly improved. Dental surgeries are much friendlier nowadays, with art on the walls, flowers in the waiting room, well-mannered staff, and pleasant reception areas.
There is still of course the smells and sounds that any dental surgery will have. However, they are less noticeable than before, because instruments are hidden from sight and background music is almost always playing. Dental drills are not even as noisy as they used to be.
Dentistry has been improved due to advances in technology. Some dentists now even use a pen to numb the area, which gives the anaesthetic very slowly without the pain.
Tips to Ease Dental Fear
Distraction: There are numerous ways to distract yourself during dental treatment. As well as listening to soothing music, you could concentrate in relaxing each body part and try to think happy thoughts, such as a future event or holiday.
Hypnotherapy: Hypnotherapy is a great way to treat dental anxiety. You can rest assured that you will not do anything silly whilst hypnotised.
Therapy and counselling: Talking to a therapist or counsellor face-to-face about your fear of the dentist will assist greatly, as talking about it will help you to accept your fears and face them head-on.
Visit Your Dentist to Discuss your Anxiety: When you think you may have found a suitable dentist, visit the dental clinic to have a look, meet the staff and also the dentist. Inform the dentist of your anxieties so that he or she is aware before you make your first appointment.
Take an Early Appointment: Choose an appointment that is as early as possible, so that you will not be in the waiting room for very long.
Stay in Control: Ensure that your dentist goes at your speed. You can choose to receive dental treatment over a number if visits. This will help to build your confidence and overcome your fear.
Take a Chaperone: If it will make you feel more comfortable, take a friend to your first appointment. The dentist will not mind this at all.
There are also NHS sedation clinics available for extremely nervous patients these days. If your dentist feels that your case is strong enough, he may well refer you to one of these clinics to carry out your treatment. For more information on preparing for a trip to the dentist, contact a practice like Belconnen Dental Centre.