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don't fear the dentist
by Dr. Michael Popp on Feb 12, 2016

Mostly everyone has a fear of the dentist. There’s the spotless white room, hosed down with disinfectant. The slippery leather recliner and three masked people gathered over your open mouth, peering into what is arguably one of the most intimate parts of your body. It is uncomfortable at best but unfortunately, dental checkups are not only necessary, they are inevitable.

So to make your next visit in the dental chair bearable, our team at Marlborough Dental have compiled a list that may just help you overcome that (slightly unwarranted, in our opinion) fear of the dentist.

Communication is key

The most important thing you can do in overcoming your fear of the dentist is to develop a trusting relationship with one. Find someone that you are comfortable with and can talk to about your treatment. If you take part in the decisions affecting your teeth, you will feel more in control.

During the appointment, ask your dentist to explain what is happening to you at every stage of the procedure and this may help lower your anxiety. When you know what is about to happen next, you will never be taken by surprise.

Distraction

Nothing will distract you more from the fear of a dentist than a big screen TV, heated chairs that massage and vibrate or calm, serene music. You can even bring your own headphones into the appointment. If you are focused on something more pleasant, your level of stress and worry will significantly reduce and you might even find yourself (gasp) enjoying it.

Pain Control

Research has shown that pain is the main reason why people avoid the dentist. But modern dentistry means that most procedures can be virtually painless. Therefore it is worth taking the time to discuss your fears - and the potential treatment options - with your dentist. Another helpful technique is to agree on a hand signal you can use if the pain gets too intense and you need to take a small break. A good dentist does not want you to be uncomfortable and will do whatever they can to put you at ease.

Relaxation techniques

When you are tense or worried, your body tends to release ‘stress chemicals’ such as adrenaline. This in turn causes you to breathe faster and for your muscles to tighten; even the pain receptors in your brain become more sensitive. Studies have shown that relaxation techniques are effective in reducing the level of stress hormones, as well as pain and anxiety. Such exercises include deep breathing, guided imagery and progressive relaxation.

We hope that these tips will help you overcome (or at least power through) your fear of the dentist. For more information on making your next dental visit more pleasant or to book an appointment, call the Marlborough Dental Clinic at 403.248.2066 or visit us at marlboroughdentalcentre.com


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