To begin, let us make the distinction between fear and phobia.
Over 80% of the population has a “fear” of going to the dentist, at some level:fear of pain, needles, the instruments, fear of being afraid…
However, another subset of patients (less than 5%) have a genuine phobia of the dentist, which can even hinder their ability to function. In these particular cases, it is necessary to consult a psychologist, who will likely recommend cognitive-behaviour therapy to conquer the phobia.
To overcome your own fear (big or small) and help you relax a bit in the dentist chair, occupy your mind with something else. For example, you can add up the ages of the people you know, multiply complex numbers, count by 6s, etc.
What’s more, don’t hesitate to inform your dentist of your anxieties. He or she will be able to reassure you and explain exactly what will happen in each procedure, if you’d like. Short of being your friend, your dentist must establish a trusting relationship with you and take every measure possible to ensure your comfort.
You can also view our YouTube channel before coming in for a procedure. The explanations provided will reassure you and possibly even relax you.
This article was written in collaboration with Dr. Patrick Lemay.