Afraid of the Dentist? Dental Anxiety is a Real Condition

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Being afraid to go to the dentist is not uncommon and for some people, that fear can turn into extreme anxiety. Hundreds of Canadians will avoid the dentist simply because of that fear, and put themselves at risk for serious oral health problems later on. Those afraid of the dentist’s chair often become anxious or scared at the idea of going to the dentist and it forces them to only see a dentist once they are in severe pain or have a serious dental complication.

Do You Have a Fear of the Dentist?

Dental phobias exhibit numerous symptoms, including:

  • Difficulty sleeping the night before a dental appointment
  • Extreme nervousness that intensifies while at the dentist’s office
  • Crying or physical illnesses that manifest at the very thought of going to the dentist
  • Intense feelings of uneasiness when objects are placed in your mouth
  • You may try to avoid the dentist’s office at all costs, even when you know you need to be seen.

The reasons you have dental anxiety can vary, but some of the more common reasons people suffer from it include:

  • Fear of pain - no one wants to feel pain and they wrongly associate the dentist’s office with pain
  • Fear of injections or fear that the numbing agents will not work
  • A fear of anesthetic side effects in general
  • Embarrassment or the feeling that you have lost your personal space
  • A painful experience in the past that has left you uneasy or scared to return to a dentist

How to Cope with Dental Anxiety

A fear of the dentist can prevent you from receiving the timely treatment and care you need to maintain healthy teeth and gums. If you suffer from dental anxiety, there are ways to cope with that fear and get yourself into the dental chair.

First, you should actively discuss your fears with your dentist. Let them know why you are afraid to go to appointments, how they make you feel, etc. If for any reason you are uncomfortable with the dentist you have, visit another Calgary dentist until you find one that understands your anxiety issues.

Before a procedure or even an appointment, ask that the process be explained in full to you. By understanding just what you are going to experience, you may be able to overcome those feelings of anxiety.

Ask your dentist if they offer sedation. Known as sedation dentistry, an anesthesiologist will use general anesthesia or conscious sedation medications to help you relax during the procedure. Depending on the amount of fear you experience and the type of procedure, your dentist can adjust as necessary to ensure you are always comfortable.

Abougoush Family Dental offers sedation dentistry services in Calgary. Do not let anxiety or fear keep you from a healthy smile. Meet with our friendly dentists today to explore your options for treatment. Schedule your consultation appointment by calling us at 403-289-7370 or contact us online.

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