Fear of the Dentist
Dental and needle phobia is very common. Between 30% and 75% of adults suffer from some fear at the thought of dental treatment. Many sufferers of dental phobia and needle phobia will put off going to the dentist for years. Anxiety – when you produce adrenalin in the “fight or flight response”- is only useful to you if it gives you an extra edge to outrun or fight off your attackers. Anxiety tells you to avoid what you fear, because what you fear seems threatening. But if you have anxiety because of dental phobia, then avoiding the problem DOESN’T benefit you – the problem doesn’t go away. In fact, putting treatment off means that eventually you’ll need more extensive (and expensive!) treatment . Sometimes you put off preventative treatment for so long you end up with damage that can’t be repaired, and get severe pain, or find you can’t eat properly – maybe you even end up even losing teeth. The cheapest and best dental treatment is preventative, stopping problems before they start. However, even if your dental phobia or needle phobia is so severe that you have not been to the dentist for years, or if even the though of the dentist or doctor gives you a panic attack, hypnosis can help. And don’t worry about your dentist being judgemental, disappointed, disgusted or angry with you. Your dentist is there to help you and will definitely have seen similar or worse – problems before. Your dentist will be used to seeing other patients with dental phobia.
Dental and Needle Phobia – just a type of Anxiety
Going to the dentist or doctor as early as possible means your symptoms are easier to deal with, Hypnotherapy and hypnosis can help you face the dentist – or blood tests or injections – at an early stage,by teaching you to relax at will. It’s impossible to be relaxed AND anxious at the same time. Your dental or needle phobia is just an association between dentists or needles and feelings of fear and panic. You can replace this association with one of feeling calm and in control. We will teach you to completely relax whilst visualizing yourself at the dentist, doctors’ or hospital. This can be done at various levels – if you anxiety is very severe we can start very simply by imagining booking an appointment or sitting in the waiting room). Once you have reached the stage where you can imagine yourself at the dentist’s surgery, you will then be taught to imagine all the various stages of treatment, again whilst remaining totally relaxed. You won’t move on to the next part of the visualization until you are comfortable with the previous stage. This technique has been used for over sixty years to cure phobia. And it really works.
What causes dental phobia?
Dental fear and needle phobia stem from a variety of sources. Perhaps you had a bad experience in the past. Or you feel embarrassment because you’ve not looked after your teeth. Others (who have dental phobia themselves) may have scared you with their own stories, or you might’ve seen unpleasant scenes in films or TV. A very common fear is of panicking in front of people, 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 so that you can continue to work on the problem between sessions.
Claustrophobia and Dental Phobia
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. We are highly experienced in the treatment of claustrophobia and can work with you to help this aspect of your dental phobia too.
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, while you’re relaxed, first to the idea of needles and then to photographs, and slowly working up to real exposure. If however you have ever fainted or lost consciousness after an injection or blood text, then this may be a medical condition known as vasovagal reflex reaction, where the blood pressure drops very quickly. It is not dangerous, and can be avoided by having the blood test or injection whilst lying down – but people who have experienced this often learn to dread needles. You can still safely use hypnotherapy to deal with your fear of needles.
Other measures to help dental and needle phobia
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 or portable CD player, 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. Many dentists advise that it will also help if you take Nurofen or another (over the counter) anti-inflammatory painkiller half an hour before treatment begins. Finally, if your dentist is not understanding about your dental phobia, or does nothing to help you deal with it and feel more comfortable, then you may want to seriously consider moving to another practice! Most dentists now are very good at putting nervous patients at east, so it is worth looking around to find someone you feel comfortable with.
Hypnotherapists in Manchester
The therapists at this south Manchester hypnotherapy clinic are Manchester’s top independently rated therapists in anxiety, insomnia and phobia treatment. If you are looking for hypnotherapists in south Manchester to help stress and anxiety, claustrophobia, fear of flying, emotional problems such as jealousy and insecurity, panic attacks, or low self esteem, then go to any of the independent websites which list and give reviews of hypnotherapists (for example www.freeindex.co.uk – you can also see reviews on Google) and see what others say about us. If you would like further information about hypnosis in Manchester, for insomnia, to stop smoking, self esteem and confidence, depression, for help with weight loss, to stop bad habits such as nail biting and teeth grinding, or for any other problem, please call 07779 575 816 for a free, confidential discussion. Hypnosis and hypnotherapy in Didsbury, Manchester – convenient for Chorlton, Gatley, Cheadle, Stockport, Altrincham, Hale and all areas of south and central Manchester. Click here for further details of how to find us.