Your mind tells you that you should go to the dentist to avoid problems, but when you enter the office you cannot help thinking that the chair resembles an electric chair and that the dentist is a kind of reincarnation of Torquemada, inquisitor ready to torture you with the lathe.
It seems a fear of children, but the anxiety that produces a dental examination is present in many adults.
“The affected, then, associate odors and images to the damage of the past, causing anxiety and rejection. Paradoxically, this causes that to avoid an imaginary and remembered discomfort, we endure a real and intense pain “, describes Velázquez.
The main method that specialists recommend is relaxation. This is achieved, first, by going to a dentist with whom one feels comfortable and who is trusted.
Likewise, the physician is advised to report on the factors that cause anxiety in the treatment and explain to the patient the steps that must be followed and the importance of carrying them out.
Experts also suggest resorting to meditation and relaxation exercises before sitting in the chair. And once there, avoid focusing your eyes on the instruments to be used.
“The most important thing is to think about the importance of going to the dentist’s appointment, which is essential for long-term health,” adds Velázquez.
In the case of a phobia, of true panic, it will require a therapy that forces the affected to face their fears rationally.
Regular visits to the dentist help the patient gain confidence and relax with their doctor, as they will see it in less stressful situations than in the case of emergency treatment. In addition, it ensures that problems do not go unnoticed and get worse over time.
There are pills that reduce anxiety and mild painkillers that facilitate relaxation and that are freely available. However, we are warned that continuous use negatively affects the patient’s health. It is always advisable to consult a doctor before self-medication.