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Dental anxiety: 5 easy ways to overcome the fear of dentist

May 01, 2023 06:51 PM IST

Dental anxiety affects many people and can prevent them from getting the care they need. But fear not! With these simple tips you can have stress-free visits.

Does the thought of visiting the dentist fill you with dread? You're not alone. Dental anxiety affects many people and can prevent them from getting the care they need. Regular dental check-ups are extremely important but many of us keep delaying it because we are scared to go to the dentist. Who likes the sound of drills and weird pipes being put in your mouth? It’s very common for people to get scared to go to the dentist. If the dental fear is a lot it leads people to delay or cancel treatment. Such people have a dental phobia. Rather than postpone visits, and let the condition of your teeth worsen it's important to find some ways to cope with dental anxiety. (Also read: 5 tips to up your dental care game for healthy and cavity-free teeth )

Regular dental check-ups are extremely important but many of us keep delaying it because we are scared to go to the dentist. (Unsplash)
Regular dental check-ups are extremely important but many of us keep delaying it because we are scared to go to the dentist. (Unsplash)

Tips to cope with dental anxiety

Dr. Kshama Chandan, Celebrity Dentist and Founder of House of Tooth, Mumbai, shares with HT Lifestyle, some strategies and tips on how to deal with dental anxiety.

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1. Communicate your problems: Don’t feel shy to communicate your problems and questions to your dentist. By knowing your concerns they can in fact make the process easier. They will also explain each step from start to finish, so you know what is coming next.

2. Distraction: Having a distraction in the dental office is the best way to get rid of anxiety. See if you can watch Netflix or a movie during your appointment, or even listen to music.

3. Bring a friend: The company of a relative or friend can calm your mind. Ask your dentist if it's comfortable for them for you to bring a friend along. Even if you can’t talk to the person but their presence or something as simple as holding your hand can help you feel safe, comfortable, and relaxed.

4. Meditation and muscle relaxation: Anxiety can increase while sitting in the waiting room or once you see the dental chair. In such situations, meditation is a simple and the best way to reduce stress.

5. Fear of injections or fear the injection won't work: Many people are extremely scared of needles. Some even feel that the prick will be bad. The doctor will put a numbing gel first so that you don't even feel the prick. Some people fear that the anaesthesia has not taken effect or very little dose was given to eliminate any pain before the dental procedure begins. One must always trust the doctor and the process and believe that they will be fine.

“These are a few ways you can cope with dental anxiety. Delaying your appointments will only increase the problems. Communication is the key! The clearer you are about your fears it is easy for the dentist and you to cope and sort it through. So go and meet your dentist today and you will realise, it isn't as bad as you thought,” concludes Dr. Kshama.

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