Do you profusely sweat or start to stutter when you drop by a dentist’s office? Do you freeze every time you hear the words “tooth extraction” or “dentist”? Do you feel like running away or crying for help once you’re already on the dental chair? Then most definitely you’re suffering from a certain kind of phobia called dentophobia.
It’s actually normal for people, especially for kids, to be afraid of the dentist. You aren’t really sure what’s going to happen once you’re already on the chair. The various instruments they use are also enough to give you the chills. However, your fear shouldn’t stop you from seeking medical help when you need one. If it does, then it’s already a phobia, which is very paralyzing.
If you’re suffering from dentophobia, then the following tips will be extremely helpful:
Consider having someone with you in the room. A lot of dentists don’t stop their patients from bringing somebody else, perhaps a family member or a friend, in the office, even if procedures are very delicate. Dentists do understand that some have fears on dental procedures or even on dentists. The most important thing is the companion doesn’t disrupt the dentist’s work.
Talk things over with your dentist. Dentists are trained on how to handle “difficult” patients, including those who have dentophobia. By talking to your dentist, you give him or her the opportunity to do his or her job well and assure you of the things you’re most scared about. For example, if you’re frightened of the tools he or she uses, he or she may acquaint you first on the instruments he or she is going to use.
Know the real reason for the fear. Ask yourself, “Why am I so scared?” The answers are usually those that you least expect. It could be because when you’re still a child, you were subjected to a very painful oral procedure. The trauma became the trigger of your intense fear. It’s also possible you’ve watched countless movies where dentists are portrayed as evil people. You might have even heard of stories where patients had died while being operated on.
It’s important that you have to get rid of the root causes, so you’ll start removing the fear. One of the ways is through visualization. Here’s something you can do:
At least an hour before you head to the dentist, lie down on a couch or on your bed. With the subliminal messages or affirmations playing in the background (you can already get them online), you close your eyes and imagine a clock with hands moving backward. Go back to the first time you feel the fear.
Then slowly, reconstruct the setting in your mind, but this time, think about an assuring and skillful dentist. While you sit there on the chair, he explains to you what’s going to happen while he comforts you with his gentle words. Then he starts working on the damaged teeth. While he’s doing so, you feel completely relaxed and comfortable. You are being worked on without any pain. If there is, you don’t pay attention to it. Once the procedure is done, you say good-bye to your dentist satisfied. Then you open your eyes.