We get it: It’s not like anyone is every truly excited or looking forward to the Dentist. However, most of us understand that dental health is vitally important to our physical health, and so we make our annual appointment and take care of issues as they arise.
For some people, that isn’t the case. Fear of dentistry is a very real problem for many – indeed, according to the statistics, as many as 60% of people suffer from fear of going to the Dentist. If this fear keeps people from the dentist’s office, it can be a huge problem.
Many studies have found that there is a connection between the way you breathe and your levels of stress and anxiety. A vicious cycle can develop: You get anxious and your breath becomes more rapid and shallow. This, in turn, leads to higher levels of anxiety, which leads to worse breathing.
Thankfully, this cycle can be broken. Instead of paying attention to your fear, pay attention to your breath. Take a deep breath, inhaling deeply through the nose, hold the breath, then exhale slowly through pursed lips. Do this multiple times, and you will notice your physical tension easing and your anxiety levels starting to drain away.
Desensitization through practice
One of the nice things about the age of the internet is that you can watch videos of dentist’s exams from the comfort of your own home. This can give you the chance to actually watch what a dentist visit is like and “practice” going to the dentist yourself. During these videos, you can also combine other therapeutic techniques you have learned, like deep breathing or muscle relaxation. If you are confused about how to do this, you can consult with a professional therapist who can give you advice on the best way to prepare yourself for your dentist visit via these desensitization techniques.
Ask your dentist how they help phobic patients
Always be open and honest with your dentist about your dental anxiety or phobia. When you go to make an appointment, let the Midway office know about your situation and so they can help you best to overcome this fear. The staff will implement appropriate techniques to help you manage this fear.
If all else fails, you can visit a therapist to help you overcome your dental anxiety and fear of dentistry. This may be necessary in order to get you in a dentist’s chair, and there is no shame in that. Remember, therapy doesn’t mean that there is anything “wrong” with you – it just means that you have an issue that you need to address in order to recover your physical health. A professional therapist can help teach you all of the above techniques and help you address the root of your fear in order to help you lead a better, healthier life.