Fear of Dental Treatment
There are so many ways we can become fearful but the three most common causes in those who seek help for fear of dentists and dental treatment are:-
If a parent shows fear about a trip to the dentist then it is likely that their child will pick this up and develop their own worries and anxieties about dental treatment which can last a lifetime.
I remember long before I became a hypnotherapist, talking with a friend whose toddler was playing at her feet. ‘I’m dreading taking him to the dentist.’ she said. Even then I didn’t think it was a good idea to express such feelings in front of a small and no doubt impressionable child.
Sometimes fear of the dentist can arise following a traumatic experience. I worked with one client who at a very young age had been physically forced down while undergoing rough and ready treatment. It is no surprise that they never wanted to go near the dentist again – their mind was simply trying to keep them safe from perceived danger.
There is a third type of fear which arises from the mind associating one kind of experience with another. For example on of my clients had at a young age visited a very sick relative in hospital who was in pain and distress, attached to many tubes and monitors. This client went on to develop a general fear of medical procedures including a needle phobia and fear of dental treatment.
How can Hypnotherapy help?
- Firstly my aim will be to help you learn to relax properly. Just by doing this it is possible to improve your experience, not only because it helps you feel more in control but also because the whole process will more comfortable when your body is more relaxed than when it is tight and tense.
- Secondly, if you have had a traumatic or unpleasant experience, as your experienced hypnotherapist my goal is to help you put it behind you in a safe and comfortable way so that your current treatment is no longer affected by something that may have happened many years ago.
- Thirdly I aim to help you build up positive resources so that when you are undergoing treatment you can feel calm, relaxed and positive. This then gives you the best preparation for everything to go much more smoothly and quickly for you, your dentist and your treatment.
Finally a word of advice for parents of young children visiting the dentist. This was passed down to me by my own mother and worked beautifully for my own children:
Please try not to show any concern about a trip to the dentist. Perhaps take your child to buy a small toy or some other little treat afterwards (but don’t make much of this beforehand or they will suspect something is up) so that they build up positive associations. If they do need treatment, be honest with them but matter-of-fact and natural. It is just one small part of life’s routine so keep it in perspective.