If you are nervous about visiting the dentist, we want you to know you are not alone. Here, our Courtenay dentists discuss fear mitigation techniques that can help you manage your dental anxiety and achieve a healthier smile.
While it's quite normal to feel distressed about visiting your dentist, it's not in your best interest to avoid regular dental checkups. Without routine exams, small issues could turn into much larger problems that could require oral surgery or other procedures, adding to your anxiety.
At Driftwood Dental, we want you to feel comfortable during your appointments so you can obtain the healthiest smile possible. If you suffer from dental anxiety, let us know. We can work with you to find a solution to ease your concerns.
Common Causes of Dental Anxiety
- Negative previous experiences
- Fear of pain
- Concerns about side effects of anesthesia
- Fear of needles, or that the needle won't work
- Invasion of personal space
- Loss of control or feeling helpless
Dental Phobias & Extreme Situations
Dental phobias are more serious than anxiety. It causes severe panic and terror, and those that have dental phobias will do anything they can to avoid visiting their dentist, despite discomfort or pain. In many cases, people are aware that the fear is unfounded but are powerless to change it.
Here are some signs that you might be suffering from a dental phobia:
- Unable to sleep the night before a dental appointment
- Increased nervousness while waiting for your appointment, or becoming sick in the waiting room
- Feeling sick or crying at the thought of visiting the dentist
- Finding it hard to breathe when thinking about an upcoming dental appointment
- Severe apprehension when objects are placed in your mouth during a dental visit, or even at the thought of that happening
Ways To Overcome Anxieties About Visiting The Dentist
In all cases, speaking with your dentist at the beginning of your appointment is the best approach. They will be able to help you with your concerns and will explain each step as they are going through them so you are a part of the process.
This can help to eliminate fears for many people and will prepare you for each stage of the procedure. You can also discuss ways to let your dentist know when you need a break, such as raising your hand.
It is essential that you continue to see your dentist regularly to prevent issues that can affect your dental health and your overall wellbeing. Your dentist might recommend dental sedation as a way to help you receive your treatment. While this is a good option for some people, it shouldn't be your first line of defense. Trying to overcome your anxiety or phobia with open communication and clear expectations is the best plan for long-term success in your journey to good oral health.