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Mindset

Your Dental Mindset is the way you think about dentistry. It’s been shaped by your past dental experiences or messages you have picked up from others.

 

For fearful dental patients the mindset is often clouded by worrisome, fearful or panicky as well as negative thoughts, and these then come with the desire to fight, flight or freeze, (in other words: avoid the dentist or freeze in fear) meaning your Dental Mindset is very much in survival mode. 

 

In my work with fearful dental patients is it clear how there is gold to be had by exploring and updating your Dental Mindset as it is most often shaped at a young age when you didn’t have the resources available to you that you have today.

 

What is needed is a Dental Mindset shift.

 

Going from a fearful, negative mindset created in the past  - to a positive, confident and empowering mindset in the present time is a core pillar in taking charge of your dental fears and phobias. 

 

Changing how you talk to yourself and the words you use about your ability and your belief in yourself will change both your inner and outer experience of dentistry. 

 

Some of the key areas covered in the Mindset Pillar:

 

  • Identifying your actual fear at the dentist 

This will help you get crystal clear about what you are actually afraid of, meaning you can then take action with the other pillars more easily. When we go from being general about our fear to being specific: from “I am afraid of the whole thing” to “I am afraid of the smell and the poky instrument (probe)” the overwhelm lessens and the feeling taking constructive empowering action is more possible.

 

  • Reflecting on your goal and setting realistic expectations

Setting realistic goals and expectations of yourself supports your journey. Remembering it’s not about becoming totally fear free as some fear is natural and actually can be a good thing. Having a clear goal can also serve as a focus and motivation if the going gets tough for you at any point.  

 

  • Replacing your negative thoughts and words - Get practicing with positive self-talk 

Our thoughts shape our experience, there is no way around it. When you take charge of your words and thoughts to do with dentistry - and you consciously choose more supportive, constructive and positive thoughts you are on the fast track to becoming an empowered and calm dental patient.

 

  • Learn how to use the vast resources of your mind by learning about Distraction and Mental focus (and more...) as tools

Another core way to take charge of your fear is to have some powerful tools at hand in your tool belt. There are many different ways you can distract yourself before or during dental treatment to distract from any fear. At the same time you can learn to focus your mind in order to take charge of the fear.

 

  • Unburdening and healing your past dental traumas 

Unburdening and healing your past dental traumas is at the root of the Mindset Pillar. Because by transforming your past overwhelming experiences at the dentist that often occurred when you were a child you can finally become fully free of your fears and phobias - as they are rooted in the past.

 

It can be profoundly empowering and touching work to do, and is what I do one to one with my clients.

 

See below for an explanation of how I help dental patients resolve and unburden their past dental experiences. 

Connect with Your Afraid Inner Parts

Did you know there is a powerful and effective way to resolve your fear of the dentist at the root?

So, do you want to have a beautiful smile, or to rest assured that your teeth and gums are healthy or that your confidence can flourish as you are happy and not worried teeth? However, do you feel too scared to go to the dentist regularly, or your force yourself pushing through when you do have to go? 

First of all - you are not alone! I saw thousands of patients that felt like this. 

When I was a dentist I used to help my patients with their fear by being as gentle, kind and compassionate as I could be. This worked to a degree, yet, next appointment I could still see my patients arrive with the trepidation or fear on their faces. I realized I wanted to do more to help - not just to manage their fear, but to help them resolve it. 

That is when I discovered the powerful approach of Internal Family Systems (IFS) which an approach that recognizes how we actually have many different parts or subpersonalities inside, and these parts are the ones that hold the fear of the dentist, and they also carry the unresolved dental experiences from the past. 

 

This may sound strange to you, however, it is extremely powerful and allows for the past to be resolved in a safe way – where the patient gets to feel empowered by helping, setting free and actually healing these parts that have been trapped in the past.

In IFS we also propose that we all have a Self inside – a Self that is not a part, the you that is resourced, calm, confidence, connected, compassionate… which may be far from how you feel when you think about or go to the dentist.

A Hug

As we work with the parts that are involved in the fear of the dentist, we may recognize anxious parts, or fearful or panicky ones… or the parts that make patients avoid the dentist at all cost…

They are all trying to help in the best way they know how to… and as the parts are recognized you can in fact dialogue with them, and by doing so, you get to help them!

The way I work is to help my clients resolve and heal their dental past and traumas, which is supporting them resolve their fear at its root. This means they become more calm and empowered in how they show up with dentistry. 

In addition to the parts work I also teach my clients simple strategies to help them feel empowered and in control for when they do go to see the dentist. I find this is the most effective and powerful combination, empowering my clients to take charge of their fear BEFORE going to the dentist, combining all the 4 Pillars together for maximum result and calm. 

Working with the Inner Parts belongs to the first Pillar of Mindset.