How to Stay Calm at the Dentist

The dentist instils fear and anxiety in a large number of people. It can be extremely difficult for patients to keep calm, especially once they reach the waiting room and the familiar sounds and smells of the surgery hit them. Dental anxiety is more common than you think and it is understandable that you will find it difficult to stay calm at the dentist – especially if you have a phobia of needles or pain or you have suffered from a negative experience in the past.

Why do People Find it Difficult to Stay Calm at the Dentist?

There are many reasons why people find it difficult to stay calm at the dentist: some people are afraid of injections, others are fearful of the dreaded dental drill, and others still find it is a fear of the unknown and what may happen once in they are in the dental chair. For many people dental anxiety stems from a concern about what the dentist may say when they look inside their mouth. Patients worry that they will need treatment, which can carry financial implications and be a source of stress. For others going to the dentist simply brings back bad memories.

Positive thinking helps you to stay calm at the dentist - smiling girl

4 Easy Ways to Stay Calm at the Dentist

1. Positive Thinking

This may sound simple but research studies conducted among nervous dental patients have revealed that positive thinking can do the world of good. Many patients dread going to the dentist and in reality it is not that bad – so try to stay upbeat, breathe deeply and rationalize the situation. If you are having a check-up you will probably be in the dental chair for around 10-15 minutes and then it will all be over for another 6 months.

2. Breathing and Relaxation Techniques

If you suffer from anxiety and experience symptoms such as a racing heartbeat, nausea and sweating, breathing exercises can help. Try to stay as calm as possible and breathe slowly and deeply. If you have severe anxiety and it stops you from going to the dentist, see your doctor in relation to techniques which could help. They may be able to suggest support groups or refer you for therapy. Many people find that listening to music or watching television helps them to stay calm at the dentist. Most practices are kitted out with audiovisual technology and this will help to distract you and reduce anxiety.

3. Get to Know Your Dentist

The relationship with your dentist can make a huge difference. Dentists are trained to care for nervous patients, but there are certain dentists who have advanced training so look out for experience and expertise in this area. If you are nervous make sure you talk to your dentist and do not suffer in silence. If your dentist knows that you are anxious they can help to make you feel relaxed and adapt their approach to suit your preferences. Some people have a negative perception of dentists, but the vast majority are wiling to go out of their way to ensure their patients are comfortable and relaxed during their time in the dental chair.

4. Take a Friend

Taking a friend or relative with you may help to comfort you and make you feel reassured. They can be there to hold your hand or offer comforting words during moments of anxiety and street, which will do wonders for your management of fear in a dental environment.

What are your tricks – how do you stay calm at the dentist – please share your experiences in the comments below.

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The article is provided by Liverpool Implant Dental Spa. For a dentist who is keen to help all dental patients make time to visit and take advantage of excellent patient care and advanced dental treatments.

Photo: MahPadilha

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