3 MIN READ | Clinical Psychology

Adam Mulligan

How Cope with a Traumatic Dental Experience

Cite This
Adam Mulligan, (2021, August 26). How Cope with a Traumatic Dental Experience. Psychreg on Clinical Psychology. https://www.psychreg.org/how-cope-traumatic-dental-experience/
Reading Time: 3 minutes

A traumatic event in the past is one of the most prevalent causes of dental anxiety in people. An unpleasant dental encounter, whether it was as a child or as an adult, can have long-term psychological consequences for several patients. Those who have been traumatised, fortunately, have alternatives.

There are a variety of approaches that may be used to assist patients with a previous dental traumatic experience. If you have any amount of dental trauma or anxiety, it is critical that you inform your dentist. An open talk about your specific dental traumas might aid the dentist in customising a treatment plan for you.

Here are some of the best ways you can deal with posttraumatic dental experience:

Find someone you trust

Finding a dentist you can trust is a great approach to ease your anxieties. Reading at online reviews is frequently the initial step in this process. What they’ll accomplish for you is offered you trust in a supplier because so many others have been happy with them in the past. After that, you can visit the dentist and the rest of the office personnel. You’ll most likely feel a connection with them and be comfortable allowing them to treat you.

Statistics must be respected

Whatever transpired in the dentist’s office, the chances of something awful happening again are quite slim. Dentistry, in reality, is quite safe. Another thing to consider is that your experience may not have occurred precisely as you recall. When individuals talk about their childhood experiences, this is frequently the case. They remember being in pain, but they wouldn’t have felt as awful if they were an adult at the time.

Consider sedation dentistry

According to a cosmetic dentist in Hounslow, sedation dentistry is one of the most effective ways to overcome a stressful dental visit. This procedure entails medicating you to the extent where you lose consciousness. This will reduce your pain response and help you stay calm during your therapy. When lifestyle modifications are insufficient, medication may be required to provide you with the dental care you require. Sedatives can help you fill that need.

Regardless of your prior dental encounter being traumatic, this kind of medical care cannot be avoided for your whole life. Rather, you must do everything possible to return to the dentist and receive the treatment you require.

Relative analgesia (happy gas)

Nitrous oxide, often called laughing gas, can help patients relax throughout dental procedures. You wear a mask on your face and inhale a combination of oxygen and nitrous oxide. It takes action in a matter of minutes and rapidly fades off.

Although you will be calm, you will remain alert. You can chat to the dentist and listen to what they say, however you won’t recall anything once the appointment is finished. The calm sensation produced by nitrous oxide sedation is quite pleasant for most individuals. When individuals don’t like the experience it produces, they might examine other options.

Controlled exposure

Controlled exposure is a strategy that has been proved to be effective time and time again. It entails gradually exposing oneself to greater and also more dental anxiety in a dental environment. You get braver and more capable of facing your fears as a result of this process. The following is an example of how that procedure may work:

  • Call the dentist and discuss your concerns and the possibility of an appointment.
  • Make your way to the dental office, but don’t go inside.
  • Make an appointment for a free consultation.
  • Attend a full-fledged appointment.

Make sure you’re joined by a family member with whom you feel at ease and in whom you have faith in your initial appointment and future ones.

Find distractions

While in the dentist’s office, try to find a distraction. Listening to your own music through earphones – a new CD that you haven’t heard much of before, so you’ll be more engaged in it. Alternatively, look for a dentist that has a TV or other distractions in the treatment room.

Breathing exercises

Breathing exercises are another method for calming yourself down. Controlling your breath is crucial if you want to control your emotions, something many anxiety patients are unaware of. When you become worked up, you start to over breathe, which produces an anxiety-inducing feedback cycle. Instead of the rapid and choppy deep breaths that define anxious episodes, you may break the pattern by breathing deeply and slowly. Another approach is gradual muscle relaxation including the tension and relaxation of various muscle groups.

Make an appointment with a psychologist

If you can’t bear going to a dentist, you might also want to start by seeing a psychologist. “direct therapeutic exposure.” is the most tried and proven method for treating dental post-traumatic experience. It entails gradually and carefully exposing the patient to dreaded objects, like needles.

Takeaway

Dental trauma is less frequent, and it may necessitate collaboration between your dentists, doctor, as well as other health experts to treat it. There are methods to assist you to manage if this keeps you from getting dental care. Consult your dentist to determine which techniques are best for you. To help you deal with your worry, get further support from a psychologist or therapist.


Adam Mulligan did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is interested in mental health and well-being.


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