It is estimated that between 10 and 15 percent of the population experiences anxiety when they have to go to the dentist, which may lead them to cancel or postpone their appointment with the specialist and have negative effects on their oral health. Normally, this fear usually has its origin in traumatic experiences.
At least two thirds of people who suffer from fear of the dentist recognize that the origin of this apprehension is in childhood and adolescence as a result of a dramatic experience. However, there are also cases of people who admit having felt relaxed for a certain time and then have developed fear throughout a treatment and there are even cases of people suffering from the phobia without ever going through the dentist’s office.
In general, it is usually the children and adolescents who are most afraid of the dentist. To help you get over it, it is important that the dentist learn communication techniques and maintain a relaxed and pleasant environment, enhancing sincerity and understanding. You should also bear in mind that each child has a different perception of pain, and what for some can be a harmless procedure, for others it can be extraordinarily annoying.
It is important to create a family environment in which regular visits to the dentist and a positive attitude towards dental care are encouraged to prevent the appearance of dental phobia in the youngest.
Tips to overcome fear of the dentist:
Identify where your fear comes from.
Ask the specialist to explain the procedures you are going to carry out. You can agree to make a signal, such as raising a hand, to stop a few moments in order to control your anxiety.
Choose moments for your appointments where you are not stressed for other reasons. If you feel tense when sitting in the specialist’s chair, try relaxation techniques such as breathing rhythmically or visualizing relaxing scenes. You can also get distracted by the ambient music or concentrating on some object in the room.
Once the visit is over, congratulate yourself for your courage and give yourself a reward.
Remember that the professionals who care for you are your allies. Use your help to face and overcome your fear and do not be embarrassed to discuss it with him. Ask any questions you may have.