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Tell your dentist if you dread the next visit

MARBURG, Germany -- If a patient thinks he or she has an unnatural fear of dental treatments, the dentist should be given prior notice, the German Green Cross (DGK) recommends.

Advance warning allows the dentist to minimize anxiety by shortening the time spent in the waiting room or setting up the first consultation between patient and doctor away from the dental chair. Discussing treatment options is also a good idea. Relaxation exercises, music, hypnosis or sedatives can also help. In serious cases such as in the case of real phobia, psychotherapy is usually necessary, says the DGK. Anaesthetics can help keep pain to a minimum, but proper dental hygiene is far more important.

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