Do you feel a tightening in your chest, a tingling in your arms, or feelings of dread when you think about going to the dentist? You’re not alone! 20 percent of people will avoid the dentist because of their fears and will only go when necessary. Understanding and acknowledging your fear is an important part of managing your condition as well as your dental health.
Dental Anxiety, Dental Fear, and Dental Phobia
Dental fear and anxiety are different from dental phobia. Dental anxiety (also called dental fear) is a form of mild anxiety that people experience when going to the dentist. People who suffer from dental fear or dental anxiety may put off visits to the dentist but will manage to go to the dentist on a regular basis.
Dental phobia is a more serious condition that can prevent people from visiting the dentist. Frequently, people who experience dental phobia are people who have had a traumatic experience at the dentist in the past. People who experience dental phobia may be willing to suffer from toothaches and intense dental discomfort rather than go to see the dentist.
Tips to Overcome Dental Fears
Overcoming your dental fears is a multi-step process that can take months or even years. Here’s what you can do to start the process:
- Recognize your feelings. Spend some time exploring your history with dentists to find out if there is a specific reason why you have your fear. If there is not one particular event that you can remember, think about a typical visit to the dentist. Try to identify what part of going to the dentist gives you the most fear.
- Communicate your feelings with your dentist. Tell your dentist why you are afraid. Work out a plan that can make visiting the dentist less stressful and more enjoyable. Would it help if your dentist played music in the background? Should your dentist talk to you about each dental procedure before beginning? Would it help if your dentist gave you words of encouragement throughout the cleaning and examination? Come to an agreement that works for both of you.
- Bring a loved one with you to your appointments. Having a loved one in the waiting room or even the examination room can help make the experience less frightening.
- Practice relaxation techniques. Breathing deeply, imagining a happy place and closing your eyes are all simple ways that you can relax during your dental procedure.
Contact Us Today
At Brewery District Dental, we work with patients to help them overcome their fears of the dentist! We also offer a range of convenient appointment times:
- Monday 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
- Tuesday 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
- Wednesday 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
- Thursday 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
- Friday 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
- Saturday (twice per month) 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Call our office today at 604-522-2425 to schedule an appointment.