A defence mechanism for people with phobias is to avoid the thing that triggers the fear. Some people are scared of spiders, while others are frightened of heights . Dentophobia, a fear of the dentist, can be caused by a traumatic childhood experience or observed behaviours, i.e. learning from a parent.
Dentophobia can put you in harm’s way, especially if you cope with your dread by avoiding the dentist altogether, even when you have significant dental issues.
Your dentist in Glasgow understands this fear and treats dental anxiety in the best way possible: with compassion and understanding. We go at a pace that is comfortable for you and will stop a procedure if you begin to feel distressed. We go the extra mile with our anxious patients by providing a full explanation of everything we do while sedating those who cannot otherwise relax under our care.
Do you want to combat your fear so that your dental visits are a more pleasurable experience? Learn more below.
Where does my fear come from?
A fear can originate from a bad experience or can be passed down by parents, even if unintentionally.
The fear can be sparked by one of several elements – not wanting to experience pain or feeling anxious about potentially gagging or not being able to breathe. For some, the stereotypical notion of a dentist, austere, masked and lacking human compassion is a good enough reason to cancel a dental appointment.
What could happen if you avoid the dentist in Glasgow out of fear?
Seeing a dentist in Glasgow twice a year is highly recommended because if dental issues receive an early diagnosis, they can be more easily treated. By doing so, you are subjecting yourself to less pain and saving yourself from an unpleasant procedure resulting from delayed treatment.
If severe enough, dentophobia might prevent you from seeing a dentist when you need to.
So how do you combat this fear to keep your mouth healthy and disease free?
There are techniques that you can employ which will help calm you down if you start to panic whilst seated in the dentist’s chair.
The first is simple; breath. People breathe rapidly and shallowly when they start to panic. By changing your breathing pattern by breathing slowly and deeply, in and out, you should feel calmer.
Find a dentist with whom you have built a good rapport, and can speak openly about your concerns. Do not feel ashamed, silly or describe your fear as childlike – dental anxiety is more common than you think, so a kind, experienced and compassionate dental practitioner will know how to help. We do!
Distract yourself by squeezing a stress ball or by listening to your favourite songs, which will also drown out the mechanical sounds and whining of dentist’s tools.
Use mindfulness techniques, like body scans. A body scan involves focusing your energy on relaxing different muscles of your body, one area at a time.
Dental phobia is a common fear that can have far-reaching consequences. With the right dentist and using various techniques, you can learn to manage it, for the sake of your dental health.