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Are You Afraid of the Dentist? How to Combat Dental Fear

More than 60% of those who attend the dentist report that they feel anxious or worried before they go, and much of this is associated with worry that procedures undertaken by the dentist will be painful. Anticipating or imagining pain is common, and does not usually prevent people from seeking dental help.

However, many people experience more severe anxiety around visiting the dentist and dental phobia is a recognized condition where even the thought of the dentist can cause a stress reaction, and people often avoid seeing a dentist for many years as a result. The good news is that it’s not too late – even if you have put off a much needed visit to a dentist for a long time, you can overcome the difficulties involved in dental anxiety and get the treatment you need by following a few simple steps.

What You Can Do About Dental Phobia

  1. It’s good to talk. When you first make contact with a dentist, it’s a good idea to explain your fears about attending appointments and discuss how severe your level of anxiety is. Although dental phobia is often due to a negative memory or experience of visiting the dentist, dental procedures should not hurt and a dentist who understands your worries will be able to put you at your ease more effectively.

  2. Get support. You can arrange for a friend or family member to accompany you to your appointment and offer you support throughout any procedures you need. Children often experience worries if their parents are concerned about visiting the dentist so it is especially important to keep a calm and reassuring attitude if you are visiting with a child.

  3. Agree on a gentle approach. Your dentist will understand that you are experiencing fears that are disproportionate to the situation and will want to do all that he or she can to help. It can be helpful if you are able to use the suction tool yourself, for example, and you should always agree on a hand signal that will indicate that you want the dentist to stop for a moment during procedures.

  4. Try hypnotherapy. Many people have had great success in tackling phobias of all sorts with hypnotherapy, and its use for dental phobias is increasing. If you need a lot of dental work but find that you are overwhelmed by fears, it may be worth exploring this route to work through negative thought patterns that are not useful to you.

Find a Sensitive Family Dentist in Ballincollig

If you're worried about visiting the dentist, whether you suffer with dental phobia or not, Guiney Dental Clinic in Ballincollig can help. Dr Freda Guiney has been awarded and nominated as the Sensodyne Sensitive Dentist of the Year for her work with people experiencing stress and fear around visiting the dentist and is especially skilled in this area. Don’t put off your dental treatment for another day: take the first step towards dealing with your worries. Call today on 021-481 0535.


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