If you are terrified at the prospect of going to the dentist, you are not alone. Moreover, your dentist has seen it all before, and will be only too pleased to discuss methods of overcoming your fears with you.
One thing you can do for yourself, if at all possible, is take a sympathetic friend along with you. With someone sitting alongside you in the waiting room for moral support, the anticipatory fear of waiting to be summoned into the surgery may be greatly diminished. It may also be possible for your friend to come into the surgery with you if you feel that would help; ask your dentist if this is possible.
A lot of dental surgeon s do their part to relax their patients by playing music, or even having a television in view of the dentist's chair, but you may wish to take further measures to isolate yourself from the environment if these measures do not alleviate your nervousness.
During the actual surgery, to distract yourself from disconcerting sounds you might want to take in an MP3 player with some closed-back headphones. If you are terrified of the sound of the dentist's drill in particular, blocking out the noise with your own soundtrack may be just the ticket.
Local or general anaesthesia
The administration of anaesthetic before a dental procedure may be required, regardless of whether or not the patient has a dental phobia. A common method of local anaesthesia, prior to dental surgery, is injection of a numbing agent into the gums surrounding the site that needs treatment.
Needle phobia is itself a widely-recognised condition. When you factor in the thought of needles entering the sensitive mouth area, you can see that for many people, the prospect of oral injection may be an important component of their dental phobia. If you have a fear of oral injection, don't be shy about asking your dentist if there is an appropriate local anaesthetic for your treatment that does not involve needles.
Alternatively, it may be possible for you to undergo your dental treatment under general anaesthesia. However, fear of "going under" is itself a prevalent phobia affecting many people.
When people are phobic of anaesthesia itself, it is possible that hypnotherapy may be appropriate as an intervention.
As an adjunct to conventional methods of anaesthesia, hypnotherapy may be effective. This study, done with children aged 5 to 12, suggests that using hypnosis prior to administering dental anaesthesia, as a way of reducing pre-needle anxiety, has potential.
There are even reports of hypnotherapy alone being effective enough to work as a dental anaesthetic in its own right. For example, this man underwent extensive dental surgery solely under hypnosis, without having any chemical anaesthetic administered. The man in the article mentions that he doesn't think everyone is as susceptible to hypnosis as he is, implying that this option is not for everyone. It is an extreme and somewhat experimental procedure; however, it demonstrates the efficacy of hypnosis with an appropriate practitioner and subject.
Learn about your options by talking things out with a dentist. Clinics like Kooringal Dental Surgery will be able to discern which option is most ideal for you.