Overcoming Fear of The Dentist: Causes & Treatments

 In Yaletown Dental Blog

Dental anxiety is not a joke. In fact, after a survey was done in the United States, the conclusion was that almost 80% of people suffer from a real fear of the dentist. However; not all who are afraid of the dentist’s chair suffer from Dental Phobia – an intense fear of visiting the dentist for dental care, but some do.

And even if you are only slightly scared of the dentist and can still be a big hurdle to climb. This can be extremely detrimental because it can stop people from visiting the dentist and taking proper care of their oral health. It is vital to be able to recognise the fear, the cause of it, and how to overcome it.

The Cause of Dental Anxiety

There can be many different reasons why one may develop this fear of visiting the Dentist. It could be based on previous bad experiences with Dentists or dental procedures. For some people, the fear of the dentists can be a side effect to deeper issues that they may suffer from – for example, anxiety disorder, substance abuse, or domestic abuse. There is no doubt that anyone can relate to the feeling of being completely out-of-control of a situation, and unfortunately this can happen when sitting in a dentist’s chair. Other things that are often associated with the dentist – such as needles, the drill and pain – have very scary connotations. All in all, it is normal to fear the dentist; is it necessary though?

The Treatment of Dental Anxiety

Fearing the dentist is often based on perception and the lack of information and experience. If we can change our perception and know what to expect when visiting the dentist, wouldn’t we feel a lot better? Dentist are there to care for your teeth, not to cause pain or make you anxious about your oral care. There are steps to take to reduce Dental Anxiety, some of which may include:

Speak to the Dentist Prior to Appointment

Speak with your dentist before your appointment and explain your fears to them. Dentists deal with these anxieties on a daily basis, so what they say might be very comforting. Be specific when explaining your fears – if it’s the needles that scares you the most then say so. Most dentists use numbing gels which reduce pain enormously. There are also other options, such as Nitrous oxide, where needles and pain can be eliminated entirely. This can also solve the fear of experiencing a bad dental experience again – tell your dentist about your previous traumas if you have any so that they can understand where you’re coming from, and they can rectify the wrong.

Reliable Relaxation Techniques

This is a trick that can be used in all facets of your life. Deep breaths and muscle relaxation. Introducing dental visits and procedures gradually can also be a huge help. Ask your dentist to work along with you in this matter.

Choose the Best Dentist

This doesn’t mean that you should find the top practising dentist in your city and pay exorbitant prices to get treatment from them. The best Vancouver dentist for a sufferer of Dental Anxiety would be someone who makes the patient feel comfortable and safe when sitting in the dentist’s chair. They should be gentle; keep the lines of communication open; and they make times for breaks during procedures and visits if necessary.

These are a few ways to overcome Dental Anxiety and face this fear of the dentist. Seeing the importance of regular dental check-ups and visits, as well as realising the motive of Dentists, will help anyone suffering. If Dental Anxiety continues please seek medical help through professionals or try and visit a dental fear clinic near you.

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