Going to the dentist is rarely considered a fun venture, but if you are one of the many suffering from a fear of the dentist, you can self-calm and make the experience much better. The big part is you’re a gentleman now and it’s necessary to take care of yourself.

You heard it here first: you are not alone. A huge percent of the population have some type of fear of the dentist – it can be as severe as a phobia or as mild as anxiousness, or even a gentle worry, an unease. There are, mercifully, ways to cope with a pending dental appointment.

Gnawing Nightmares

The root of many fears can stem from childhood cavities and issues, and negligent or inexperienced doctors not administering enough to properly anesthetize a child’s mouth. Thankfully, this was not the case for me. But studies have proven that such physical and emotional trauma can last through adulthood. Many adults ignore what they know are issues with their teeth, because they cannot erase the memory of an earlier trauma. You can help yourself, find assistance and support, and finally, find a dentist who’ll help you work through the issues.

I have seen dentists around the world from my home country in the United States, Colombia, Thailand, Indonesia, and even Australia. Back when I was in Australia my main goal was a practice that offers expert and painless treatments like Dentist Gold Coast down under in Australia and which has caring doctors who are patient and understanding. The last thing you want is something like this dentist who recently popped up in the news!

Avoid Further Complications

Having anxiety towards the dentist can be further complicated by the inherent ailments that can be exacerbated by waiting too long to have your mouth, gums, and/or teeth treated. Many patients may not realize that chronic headaches may be caused by TMJ, by clenching, or grinding of teeth during sleep.

If you have a very serious fear, and it’s gotten to the point of where you are completely immobilised by the thought of the dentist, it might help to visit a therapist before you make an appointment with a dentist.

Keep Calm and Carry On

When you’re finally ready to go to the dentist (and you can search some official websites in most countries) – whether it be you’ve emotionally prepared yourself, or you can no longer handle the pain in your mouth – there are things of which you need to be aware.

When you make your appointment, let them know that you have some anxiety.

Take some quiet time to prepare yourself. Sit or lay down, close your eyes, and imagine yourself in the dentist’s chair and focus on the positive. Know that being in that chair will take care of any issues you’re concerned about and any you might not be aware.  Do this daily (or even twice daily) before your appointment.

After you make your appointment at a new dentist, have your previous records sent to their office or pick them up and bring them with you. Provide your new dentist with as much background information as possible.

You should also consider asking the office staffer who makes your appointment, if you can come in to “see” the office a few days before your appointment. This visit will help you visualise when you’re doing your meditative prep.

Don’t eat a heavy meal the night before your appointment. Get a good night’s sleep beforehand: be well rested. If you eat a heavy meal, you’re not likely to sleep well.

Bring a family member or friend with you to support you at the appointment. They don’t need to be in the actual treatment room, but even knowing you have support in the waiting area can help ease worry.

At your appointment, when you meet your new dentist, bring up your issues immediately. This helps them prepare appropriately and perform the dental operation in a way that won’t alleviate your anxiety.

Image by ianus via Flickr