Fear of the dentist – 7 tips against fear
The fear of the dentist is a common problem. One in ten in Germany suffers from oppressive feelings to a great extent when they have to go to the treatment chair. Some people are affected by real dental phobia and therefore avoid going to the doctor. But if you want to have healthy and well-groomed teeth in the long run, you have to see the dentist regularly. The following tips can help sufferers get a grip on their fears before and during the dentist’s visit.
When does one speak of a dental phobia?
- the vibration and noise of the drill plus the pain associated with it,
- see and feel the anesthetic injection,
- the doctor enters the room (in a white coat),
- the smells, sounds and visual stimuli in the waiting room,
- the fear of the pain afterwards and
- the fear of not opening your mouth.
Tip one: address the fear openly
People suffering from fear or phobia should not keep this to themselves. They can only be helped if they name their fears and dare to admit them. Phobia is not uncommon for the dentist before he starts work. However, he can only act accordingly and take the patient’s fear away if he is in the picture.
Many people are embarrassed by their fear of the dentist and find it difficult to cope with the anxious situation. They expose themselves to enormous stress: on the one hand they have to endure fear, on the other hand they have to do everything possible to ensure that the environment does not notice the phobic reaction. Since every visit to the dentist becomes an almost unbearable ordeal, avoidance behavior often occurs. That means that the dentist is no longer used.
If the doctor knows, on the other hand, he can deal with his patient much more sensitively and understand his fear reaction. Above all, the fears should be specifically addressed. Sometimes it is a diffuse fear, but often there are also special anxiety triggers. It can be the drill, the pain or the injections. Whatever it is, the dentist knows, he can start much more targeted.
Tip two: seek support
For many anxious patients, the worst thing is not the treatment in the dentist’s chair, but the time in the waiting room. Here is an opportunity for fear to really rock up. Horror scenarios are imagined and the sounds from the treatment room do the rest anyway. It can help here that an accompanying person is taken along to “hold hands”. This can prevent the person concerned from delving too deeply into his fear of the dentist.
Tip three: the choice of the dentist
It is extremely important that people who are afraid of the dentist choose an understanding doctor. Nobody is forced to stay with a particular doctor. Since dental phobia is not uncommon these days, there are hardly any doctors who have no understanding for it. Ideally, the fears are reported on the first call to the practice or a preliminary discussion is arranged.
Dentist phobia depends on the right doctor.
Tip four: preparation is everything
Before undergoing treatment, people with fear of the dentist should take time to get to know the practice. Feel free to ask if it is possible to have a look at the practice beforehand. If the doctor and dental assistant are no longer strangers and the sympathy is right, this has a huge impact on fear. Practice should also be inspected. Waiting room, treatment room, counter – everything can be viewed closely. A friendly atmosphere and the feeling of being in good hands are the ideal prerequisites for stress-free treatment.
Tip five: relaxation techniques and music
In an anxiety situation, the body is extremely tense: The pulse or heartbeat and breathing are accelerated and symptoms such as tremors, sweating and restlessness arise. A popular method to curb tension are so-called relaxation procedures.
If you are terrified of the dentist, autogenic training (AT) is ideal. Here sentences to calm down are spoken mentally. This puts the body and mind in a state of relaxation, which slows down the heart rate and breathing. Nothing changes in the situation that the dentist’s chair is waiting, but the body no longer reacts to it with symptoms of anxiety.
Tip six: seek therapeutic help
A phobic disorder is actually not within the competence of a dentist.
To a certain extent, he can respond to the fears, but if the phobia persists, a psychotherapist should be consulted.
A panicked fear of the dentist has causes to research for. Together with the fear patient, a treatment plan is drawn up in which the fear is addressed bit by bit. This is not easy, because here you have to face your fears. But over time it gets easier.
Tip seven: keep control
Dental phobics often see treatment in the dreaded chair as a loss of control. They are completely at the mercy of the doctor and, in the worst case, cannot even make themselves felt. If a doctor and dental specialist are available in the mouth, it is difficult to speak verbally.
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