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.
The power of the mind is a huge resource you can learn to leverage. Thoughts and past experiences have a powerful influence on how we experience fear, so getting to know the "thought scripts" you are running about dentistry and updating them is a key practice here.
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.
Working with our Inner Parts is a very exciting way to resolve fear of the dentist at the root. It is also at the core of the Mindset Pillar.
The main work I do one to one with my clients is the powerful approach of Internal Family Systems (IFS).
This is an evidence based form of psychotherapy created by Dr. Richard Schwartz, Ph.D., that recognizes how we all actually have many different parts or subpersonalities inside. IFS postulates that this is how we are born, and parts also develop throughout our lives in response to life events and circumstances.
When it comes to dental traumas or overwhelming experiences, there are inner parts that actually hold the protective responses (like avoiding the dentist, generating panic, embarrassment etc.) as well as the fear of the dentist or dentistry itself. You can say the fearful part carry the unresolved dental experiences from 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.
This may all sound strange to you, however, it is an extremely powerful method, and it allows for the fear of dentistry to be resolved in a safe way. My clients get to feel empowered by actually healing these parts of themselves.
"Here is a video where I explain in more detail what Inner Parts work involves and why it is so powerful in helping scared dental patients let go of the past"
So the Mindset Pillar includes Inner Parts Work as well as Tools and Strategies to help my clients resolve their fear of 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.