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 may develop into much larger ones that result in the need for oral surgery or other procedures, adding to your anxiety.
At dentalhouse Victoria Dental Arts, we want you to feel comfortable during your visits so you can have 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.
Reasons for Dental Anxiety
- Fear of pain
- Fear of needles, or that the needle won't work
- Loss of control or feeling helpless
- Concerns about side effects of anesthesia
- Invasion of personal space
- Negative previous experiences
Dental Phobias & Extreme Situations
Dental phobias are a more extreme condition than anxiety. It causes severe panic and terror, and those with dental phobias will do everything in their power to avoid visiting their dentist, despite discomfort or pain. Most of the time, people are aware that the fear is unfounded but are powerless to change it.
Some signs that you may be suffering from a dental phobia:
- Severe apprehension when objects are placed in your mouth during a dental visit, or even at the thought of that happening
- Finding it difficult to breathe when thinking about an upcoming trip to the dentist
- Feeling sick or crying at the thought of visiting the dentist
- Unable to sleep the night before a dental appointment
- Increased nervousness while waiting for your appointment, or becoming sick in the waiting room
How can I overcome my anxiety when 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 well-being. Your dentist may suggest dental sedation as a way to receive treatment. Although this is an option that may be right for some people, it shouldn't be your first line of defence. 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.