Fear of the Dentist?
Being phobic of the dentist is the number one phobia alongside public speaking. The technical name is also called dental phobia, odontophobia, dentophobia, dentist phobia, and dental anxiety. It has been calculated that around 60% of people are afraid of the dentist. This includes panic attacks to mild anxiety.
Symptom and Causes…
Fear of the dentist can cover a wide area, ranging from the thought of a visit to the dentist, the sounds of the drill and other dental noises, the clinical smell when you walk in, the sight of the staff walking around in their dental uniform. There are also the fears of people with fear of chocking or waking up from dental surgery and of course any previous bad experiences in the past. A visit may only happen in extreme emergencies because of pain etc, because your phobia is so bad…
What Can Help?
There are dentists who are phobic friendly and will support you throughout your visit, you can also request when visiting a dentist to have no procedure performed.
Aversion therapy can help, as you could visit the waiting room several time prior to your treatment. A helpful dentist might allow you to sit in the dental chair for a few minutes, this will help you get used to the surroundings as you familiarise yourself. More often than not, we just go in and walk out again, with this on our mind and other senses being overwhelmed, this can be too much for you to handle and this is one of the reasons we have a panic attack.
Other Self Help.
If you’re not generally an anxious person then you’re probably more likely to have a better rate of success with little outside help. If you’re a more nervous person, then you will require more intensive therapy to help. This can range from self help to visiting a therapist. You can start with calm breathing exercises, gentle meditation to help keep you calm, using visualisation and seeing yourself being relaxed from the waiting room and into the dentist chair.
What To Do Next.
A visit a therapist in your area can be a smart move as hypnosis can plant the seeds in your mind of being in control when you have to visit the dentist. The positive outcome can lower your stress and help make you feel relaxed. Sessions are different for each individual because of the reason you have developed this phobia and this can impact on the amount of sessions required, but really shouldn’t take more than 3 therapy sessions to get you to be able to visit the dentist comfortably.