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        New Teeth News

        Afraid of the dentist? How to address the fears that are keeping you from a happier life

        Published 07/02/2018

        Have you ever had one of those moments where, in a flash, you knew your life would never be the same? That from now on, you would look at your life in 2 phases - before this moment and after?

        If you’re a person that, for a long time, has been self-conscious about your teeth, frustrated with failing dental work or unable to eat foods you love, right when you decide it’s FINALLY time to make change - you’ll experience one of those moments.

        Big decisions come with big doubts - they’re supposed to

        Big decisions are often life altering. They usually involve a certain amount of risk. You can anticipate good and bad outcomes of whatever option you choose, it can be REALLY scary.

        And fear CAN be a very good thing. Fear keeps us alive, out of danger, mindful of hazard, protective of our loved ones…

        But fear can also come in the form of self-doubt, worry over others’ judgment, guilt or anxiety. None of these are useful. In fact, they can be completely crippling. It’s important to identify what kind of fear you’re experiencing when making a big decision because it can be your key to making the right one.

        Identify what’s stopping you and make sure it’s valid

        I’ve had decisions I’ve had to make where the thought of THINKING about the decision felt so overwhelming that I had to take a nap (I have a DEGREE in distraction techniques). What I’ve found that works is to make a list of exactly what my fears are. The key to this is being specific and COMPLETELY honest with yourself.

        If the decision to get dental implants has been weighing on you, identify where your fear is coming from. You can say that your fear is ‘the money,’ but be more specific than that. Are you scared that you’ll feel guilty over not spending that money on something else (or FOR someone else)? Are you worried that others will find out about the cost and judge you? Do you fear that your spouse won’t understand the use for the money? 

        You could have a fear of going to the dentist altogether. This can be certainly be a crippling anxiety and a very common one. Write down what ACTUALLY scares you about it. If your fear is around the procedure itself, again, write down what specifically about it is causing these feelings.

        If your fear is coming from a place of survival and you anticipate a real negative impact on your life, then that fear IS trying to help you. But if it’s coming from a place of self-doubt or insecurity or fear of confrontation - than your decision might be getting clearer.

        Make a plan to address each fear with accurate information and set deadlines

        The worst thing fear can do is paralyze you. I’ve been a frozen statue of panic more times than I’d like to admit, so trust me, I understand. But I’ve learned I just have to start moving.

        Next to each fear that’s coming from a place that’s unhelpful, write a plan for how you’ll address it and when. 

        Fear your family will barrage you with unsolicited opinions and dramatic advice? Write down how and when you’ll address their feelings. In the end, they don’t have to side with you. They just have to be told, then your obstacle is removed.

        Scared the money isn’t there? Dig into your finances, look at payment options and see if you can come up with a plan. I literally INVENTED "avoiding finances" so I HAVE to set a deadline for myself if this is a task. 

        Scared of setting that dentist appointment altogether? Set up a meeting just to talk with the dentist and you’ll be taking a huge step in the right direction. You would certainly not be the first person your dentist has talked to with this fear.

        Is your fear related to the procedure? Do some research, look up some success stories and set up a consultation (turns out most patients experience little to no discomfort at all). The more information you have, the easier this fear will be to overcome.

        Know what’s coming and embrace it

        Now if you’ve come to a place where you’re looking at the things you’ve been afraid of, you have practical ways of addressing them and you’re seeing there’s no real HUGE obstacles left - then your decision is SERIOUSLY coming into focus.

        That crossroad where the anxiety and fear cripple you is fading away. Your path is becoming clearer and you’re starting to see the whole new you that’s just around the corner!

        Now that doesn’t mean there aren’t challenging times ahead, because you still have to set your plan into motion – BUT, the hardest part IS over.

        Know that there WILL be jealousy and there WILL be opinions, but that you’re not doing this for anyone else’s happiness. Know that there will ALWAYS be other ways to spend your money, but you’ve made the choice to do something for you. Scared of that office? Focus on how you’ll feel on the day you walk out of there with your brand new teeth. 

        And also….

        Be ready to smile again! Be ready to laugh again! 

        Especially right now. Because if your decision is made, it probably feels pretty awesome.

        Now you can clearly see the 2 phases of your life. In this second phase you’ve decided that a beautiful smile is ACTUALLY a reality for you. And you’ve decided that it’s ACTUALLY time to go get it. How exciting!!!

        So contact your local implant specialist to start hearing all about your brand new teeth because phase 2 of your life starts NOW!

        Article originally published at yournewteethnow.com.

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