How can hypnotherapy or hypnosis help with dental phobia?
Dental phobia is extremely common with between 30 – 75% of adult suffering some level of fear at the thought of dental treatment. Many sufferers of dental phobia and needle phobia will put off going to the dentist, their fear being so severe that they will put it off for years. The reality is by putting it off will likely mean that you’ll need more extensive (and expensive!) treatment, or even develop other health problems through. Hypnotherapy or hypnosis can help.
Sadly I learnt this fact the hard way, a very unpleasant experience in my youth led to a severe phobia of the dentist, and I avoided going for a number of years until I had several weeks of unmanageable pain I had no choice but to go. A sympathetic dentist and a hypnotherapist helped me develop my confidence again, and despite the initial expense of the treatment (which would have been a lot less expensive had I kept up with my check-ups) I have a more positive experience each time I visit, whilst sometimes I still feel nervous I use the strategies I have been taught to relax and ease my nerves resulting in a more pleasant experience.
Common fears of the dentist
- Fear of choking
- Fear of diagnosis
- Fear of visiting dentist
- Fear of feeling powerless
- Fear of pain
- Fear of needles
- Fear of future dental work
- Fear of embarrassment
- Fear of anaesthesia
- Fear of the drill
- Previous unpleasant experience
What causes dental phobia?
Phobia’s may stem from a variety of sources, bad experiences in the past, the embarrassment of having not looked after your teeth, stories told by others, fear of panicking in front of people, negative portrayals on film and TV, and fears of lack of control, or of choking or being unable to breathe. Whatever the source, counselling and hypnotherapy can help you to understand the irrational basis of your fears and to help you feel relaxed whilst facing them. You will also be taught self-hypnosis in your hypnotherapy session so you can continue to work at the problem between sessions.
For some patients, the thought of sitting in the dentist’s chair brings on feelings of panic. Having someone stand over you, with their hands near your face or in your mouth, can make you feel trapped and claustrophobic. There is a feeling that you cannot escape.
Fear of needles
If your fear of the dentist stems from a fear of needles, then your needle phobia can also be treated by hypnotherapy and gradual exposure, whilst relaxed, first to the idea of needles and then to photographs, and slowly working up to real exposure.
There are other measures you can also take to overcome your dental phobia and to help you feel more comfortable whilst at the dentist – these include taking an mp3 player/ipod, earplugs, a blanket, wearing comfortable clothes, asking for additional anaesthetic, and self-hypnosis.
For dental phobia, it is a good idea to agree a “signalling” procedure with your dentist before treatment starts, so that you can signal with your hand if you need the treatment to stop.
How can I help?
Depending on what the phobia there are a range of therapies from hypnotherapy or hypnosis to relaxation techniques to help make the trip to the dentist a more positive experience by understanding what causes. Prevention is far better than cure and whole lot less expensive believe me!
The other thing to remember, and certainly what I found with my experience is that your dentist will definitely won’t be judgemental, disappointed, disgusted or angry with you, they are there to help you and will certainly have seen similar, if not worse problems before and will be used to seeing other patients who suffer from dental anxiety.
Dental anxiety it is something that you can look to overcome and there are a number of therapies that can help desensitise these fears. Hypnotherapy and hypnosis can help you face the dentist along with other therapies that I can use – it works by teaching you to relax at will.
Your phobia is simply an association between the fear of say needles and the feelings of fear and panic. I work with you to replace the association with one of feeling calm and in control teaching you to completely relax whilst visualising yourself in the situation – this can be at the start of when the anxiety begins for example imagining booking an appointment, or sitting in the waiting room.
I work at your pace and only move on to the next level when you feel comfortable to do so, my approach is very client led and I am guided by your feedback working closely to understand
If you are looking for hypnotherapy or hypnosis in Milton Keynes then get in touch.
If you are looking for a dental practice who specialise in helping nervous patients and helped me then visit: Appledore Dental Clinic in Milton Keynes
Further Resources That Can Help with Dental Phobia
Click on the links below to access additional resources that can help with dental phobia*
- Dental Phobia Hypnotherapy Audio – If you have a strong fear of dentists, then even the thought on going to see one will trigger anxiety. The way hypnosis works is firstly, to relax you deeply which this audio will help you achieve.
*This links divert to external websites, and we earn a small commission on any sale. These commissions can help fund Mind Calm being able to offer reduced rates for therapy or free therapy sessions for those in need.