How to manage your fear of the dentist

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Alexis Dobranowski would rather be anywhere

but here. I've never loved going to the dentist but I

think after my wisdom teeth experience which was, I guess in my

late teens that's when my fear began to compound.

Her stitches broke open after the surgery meaning the work had to be

redone. She also had braces for four years,

permanently linking dental work and pain in her mind.

About one in five people have some fear of going to the dentist, often stemming from

a traumatic experience of general life anxiety says Dr. Carilynne Yarascavitch.

Really the first thing patients should do is tell

their dentist they are afraid and make sure they talk as specifically

as they can. So are you afraid of the needle, are you afraid of the the sights, the sounds?

Is it the smells? Is it the general environment?

She says the more your dental team knows, the better the plan

of coping can be put into action. One of the best ways to cope is to try and establish control.

So either hand signals or some methods

to let your dentist know when you might need a break. Some other techniques:

deep breathing can help calm you during unpleasant moments, distraction

through music, podcasts or video is very effective. Asking

your dental team about medications that can help sedate or relax you helps. And

be realistic. Dr. Yarascavitch says despite