Nowadays, any treatment can be practically painless. Yet a quarter of the Dutch are still afraid of the dentist. Do you also get the shivers from that drill? These tips will drag you through.
The high, buzzing sound makes no one happy. But with some people the fear sweat literally breaks out as soon as they hear a dental drill. About 2.1% of people are even so afraid of the dentist that they no longer dare to go and risk serious dental problems. While nowadays basically everything that needs to be done can be practically painless.
The younger to the dentist, the better
The advice is to take children to the dentist as early as possible. Research shows that the sooner a child gets used to these visits, the smaller the chance that they will get scared later. For anxious adults, dentists have six tips to help them stay less stressed in their seats.
Tip 1: share your fear
If you are afraid of undergoing treatment, talk about it. In this way, your practitioner is prepared and may, if necessary, set aside extra time for explanation and support.
Tip 2: get well informed
Get informed about the types of treatments that await you, about what will happen and why. Some people like to look with a mirror during the treatment. Consider whether you want this and if so, ask your dentist if this is possible.
Tip 3: demand an anesthetic
Are you very afraid of pain? Then insist that you be stunned. That is a small effort for the dentist. The anesthetic is a small shot and you often don't even feel it.
Tip 4: agree on a sign
Everyone needs control, and that is especially true if you are anxious. Therefore, agree on a sign with the dentist, such as raising your hand. If you give that sign, he will interrupt the treatment. This gives you the feeling that you can control the course of events more.
Tip 5: provide distraction
If the nerves go through your throat or your jaws hurt from opening your mouth, you can use some distraction. It may help to watch your breathing, for example by counting when you breathe in and out. You can also listen to music with earphones via your mobile phone or ask your dentist to put on music. Then make every effort to listen carefully to the music. If you pay less attention to the treatment, any inconvenience is immediately reduced.
Tip 6: Find another dentist
If your dentist does not understand your fear, do not be embarrassed and look for someone else. Many people are afraid of the dentist and so there are all kinds of facilities. For example, your doctor can refer you to an "anxiety dentist" or a Center for Special Dentistry. Specially trained dentists and psychologists work together here.