We all experience this: even if our dental appointment may only be for routine teeth cleaning, we start to feel anxious. Yet, some people have significant dental phobia and anxiety. It is referred to as odontophobia or dentophobia. Moreover, there are related phobias, including aphenphosmphobia, trypanophobia, and algophobia (fear of pain and needles) (fear of being touched). We’ll go through potential causes of these in the section below and strategies for reducing anxiety before seeing the dentist.
It’s acceptable if you don’t completely get over your dental phobia immediately. But, there are actions that both you and your dentist Kitchener can take to jointly reduce anxiety or dental phobias.
Dentophobia: What Is It?
Dentophobia, which can affect people of all ages, is, to put it simply, a dread of visiting the dentist. Several factors can cause this, including:
Having poor oral hygiene practices and being afraid of the repercussions.
Having a fear of needles
Fear of being numb and how it will impact your capacity for feeling, swallowing, or even breathing.
Not enjoying the sounds and smells of a dental office.
Having tooth sensitivity.
A strong gag reflex or dread of throwing up.
Being afraid of experiencing any discomfort or agony.
Dislike the sounds made by dental tools like drills and scrapers.
Avoiding physical contact with or being touched by others.
A negative past experience with a dentist, dental hygienist, or dental work.
Fear of any medication’s adverse effects.
Apprehension of losing control
Dental phobia may involve more than just anxiety. Additional signs and symptoms could include feeling like a panic attack are about to strike, sobbing, shivering, perspiring, fainting, or nausea. As a result, some patients may choose to skip dental appointments entirely, but regrettably, doing so can result in even more difficult and expensive dental procedures and harm your life in many other ways.
Dental phobia advice
Every patient will experience dental anxiety differently and to varying degrees. Depending on the severity, there are a few coping mechanisms you can attempt both before and during your dentist appointment. Priorities aside, you should be proud of yourself for summoning the confidence to schedule an appointment or even go in the first place. That is always a fantastic starting point!
Allow Your Dental Practice to Dental offices to be aware of your circumstance. You should know you are not alone in your condition as they deal with many nervous patients. Because of this, you should inform them in advance that you have dental anxiety and may require support and assistance to relax throughout your appointment. They will be understanding and accommodating, which is a terrific first step in developing trust.
Enquire About Alternatives for Sedation Dentistry
Several dentist offices now provide various sedation techniques to help alleviate anxiety and make patients feel more comfortable regardless of the dental operation they are undergoing because dental offices are accustomed to handling patients with dental anxiety. For instance, nitrous oxide, popularly known as laughing gas, is a preferred option for people of all ages.
During your treatment, an odorless gas will be administered through a mask. Still, you will remain conscious and able to respond to inquiries and express concerns. But you’ll feel calmer, less tense, and perhaps even giddy.
Some dentists can also use oral sedatives that need to be taken before your appointment. Your dentist will administer one as you wait in the waiting room for the pill to take effect. As a result, you’ll be a lot more at ease and prepared to handle your dentist appointments with ease even though you’ll still be awake and able to respond to queries.
Yet, sleep dentistry solutions like general anesthesia are available when you are entirely sleeping throughout your appointment. They are both referred to as conscious sedation.
Attempt to meditate
Deep breathing exercises can be beneficial for various issues, including calming down before an appointment and maintaining your equilibrium. As a result, you can become considerably more relaxed, experience less tension and anxiety, change the direction of your thoughts, reduce blood pressure, and improve your mood. This is why many professionals advise engaging in relaxation exercises every day, even if it’s simply for 10 to 20 minutes.
Provide moral assistance
No matter your age, sometimes all you need to feel better is someone to go to the dentist with you, which is okay. Parents who can hold their hands are frequently the safe havens for kids and teenagers. They bring their older children, parents, or friends to assist adults. You could phone them and tell them you’ll need your support to be in the room with you, depending on the workplace policies and the space’s size. If your friends or family cannot attend, someone from the dental team will be more than pleased to stand in their place and provide their consoling support.
Inquire about Breaks
Let the dentist Waterloo or hygienist know if you need to pause during your dental procedure to gather your thoughts. Then, before they start again, you can practice deep breathing exercises for relaxation.
Don’t let dental phobia compromise your oral health
The state of your teeth is really important. When you stop going to the dentist, you are more likely to develop conditions like gum disease or tooth infections. Gum disease can lead to tooth loss, which can shift other teeth, lead to eating problems, jawbone loss, changes in the face structure, and lower self-esteem. Untreated tooth infections can also result in further painful and expensive dental issues. In addition, if not treated quickly, the infection can spread throughout the remainder of your bloodstream.
Even if you experience dental anxiety, you have options
Your dentist is experienced in dealing with dental anxiety patients and will treat you professionally and gently. It can be challenging to schedule a dental visit if you suffer from severe anxiety. Still, several treatment alternatives are available to help you feel less stressed and anxious while there. Your dentist most likely provides sedation dentistry and can modify your treatment plan to incorporate strategies for making future dental appointments less stressful and giving you more confidence.