Posted on: 17 April 2015
For many people, the idea of visiting their dentist for a simple check-up is enough to make them feel tense, full of anxiety, and with off the scale fear levels. And when a fear is that deeply rooted, it can be difficult to know exactly how to overcome it.
Over recent years, mindfulness and meditation have become areas of great interest for people seeking a calmer and more relaxed life, and although these practices are great for a person's general well-being, they can also most certainly have an effect on specific things such as an overwhelming fear of sitting in the dentist's chair.
It Starts Before Visiting the Dental Clinic
Mindfulness is not a quick fix, but it can be effective if you spend time committing to the practice. This means that you need to dedicate some time to facing your fear head on before you enter the clinic. It should be made clear that meditation won't stop your emotions—but it can help them to assume a more appropriate size so that you don't blow a small issue out of proportion. The fear might not totally disappear, but you can definitely tame it so that it is manageable and doesn't stop you from getting the dental work you need.
A useful mindfulness practice is to sit in a chair at home, close your eyes, and pretend that you are in the dentist's chair. Acknowledge the fear when it arises but try not to dwell in it, all the while keeping relaxed concentration on your in-breath and your out-breath. If the fear increases, take a few deep breaths to help and calm you down. You might also want to name the fear and say to yourself in your head, "Fear of the dentist". End this practice by wishing yourself well, knowing that you are taking the time to look after your health. Repeat this daily when you know you have an appointment with the dentist approaching.
Mindfulness in the Dental Clinic
As you walk through the dental clinic, take in the environment so that you know where you are and feel comfortable. Acknowledge any increase in heart rate mindfully, but don't try and squash it. Just take a few deep breaths, acknowledge the fear, and this will help it to subside. When you see your dentist, it's a good idea to express that you have some fear but that you are working through it—putting that statement out there is a useful way of expressing that your fear can't contain you.
If you need a few moments of quiet meditative breathing in the chair before the dentist starts, ask him or her for that. When you are ready, breathe through the check-up, thanking yourself for your bravery and for tackling your fear head on.
As you continue with this process, each visit to the dentist (such as Now Dental) will become easier.Share