Odontophobia is the medical term for fear of the dentist. While many of us say we are scared or anxious, this fear is too real for thousands of people.
Some people have a mild fear, while others can have a very severe phobia and intense anxiety. Some may even be unable to undergo dental procedures without experiencing anxiety or panic attacks.
If you’ve never had one, you may underestimate just how terrifying a panic attack may be. These attacks may appear similar to other medical problems, such as heart attacks.
Chest pain, fainting, high blood pressure, crying, sweating, and shaking are all signs of such an attack. It’s an issue to dismiss quickly.
If you experience similar anxiety and panic when having to go to the dentist, know that this anxiety doesn’t have to control you. There are ways you can take control of the situation and, in turn, reduce anxiety.
Let’s look at four of the top methods for helping you reduce your anxiety and keep up with your dental health care.
Here at Oakville Place Dental, we have over 20 years of experience, and we want to make you feel the most at ease before, during, and after your appointment.
Talk to us about any fears or concerns you have about your visit. Ask us questions when you book the appointment and when you arrive.
If we understand what makes you anxious or why you have been putting off booking that routine check-up, then we can be better prepared to help you.
This is as easy as brushing and flossing at least twice a day. Use a good mouthwash as recommended by your dentist and dental team, as this too will help to reduce the number of visits you need.
Avoiding or cutting back on certain sugary or acidic foods will reduce the wear on the enamel on your teeth, thus leading to fewer cavities and filling requirements.
Examine your teeth and gums in the mirror after brushing. If you see any signs of bleeding or plaque build-up that you can’t remove with flossing or brushing, then you will need to book an appointment.
Don’t let the plaque increase, as this can cause more issues later on.
Is it the sounds in the clinic, such as the drill? Or, is it everything about the experience as a whole?
You can wear headphones and listen to music or your favourite podcasts to drown out the sounds.
If you usually use a weighted blanket to help with stressful situations or provide security during a panic attack, ask your dental team if you could bring it with you.
You are also welcome to bring a friend or a family member to the appointment for added support.
If pain is an issue, talk to your team about the pain medications they use and what might be better for you. For example, laughing gas could be an option instead of injections.
Deep breathing and meditation can help to reduce stress, leading to a calmer heart rate and a clearer mental state. These methods can reduce any anxiety you may have leading up to and during your appointment.
A stress ball or fidget device can be used as part of meditation techniques and can be brought into the appointment with you.
Go to your happy place, such as using visualization to both calm and distract you from what’s happening.
While you will still be aware of what is going on and can interact with your team, picturing yourself on a beach with a fruity drink is a nice diversion from sitting in the dental chair.
We have served the community of Oakville for over 20 years. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff welcomes everyone and considers all our patients part of our family.
Taking pride in the knowledge that you have chosen to put your trust in us, we want to work with you to make your whole experience pleasant and stress-free.
Experienced in general dentistry (fillings, braces, and root canals) and specialty services (teeth whitening, colour matching, dental sealants, and more), we understand what it takes to keep your mouth healthy and happy.
This, in turn, keeps you healthy and requires fewer visits to our office.
We also work with children and their teeth, whether they are just getting them or have had them for a while.
Dental visits can be scary for them, too, so we work with the parent and child to make their experience a positive one.
Through education and pain-free treatments, they can be on the road to great dental health and better prepare for visits when they are older.
The best thing to remember is that at Oakville Place Dental, our pride comes in caring for you. So, talk to your dental team about any fears or concerns. Our care starts there.
You can take control over your worries by doing simple things at home, like managing your dental routine with regular brushing and flossing.
Changes in your diet will help to reduce the stress on your teeth and lessen the concern for fillings.
Regular checkups are also very important, but we can’t help you manage your anxieties unless we are aware of them.
Our friendly staff is always here to help and answer any questions. Just let us know when you call, and we will take the time to fully understand your concerns.