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Dental Anxiety: Overcoming Your Fears

Nervous about visiting the dentist? As many as 20% of people suffer from dental anxiety. Today our Toronto dentists discuss fear mitigation techniques that can help you maintain a healthy smile.

While it's natural to be anxious about going to the dentist, avoiding regular dental checkups is not in your best interests. Without routine exams, minor problems can grow into major ones, necessitating oral surgery or other procedures, adding to your anxiety.

At Bay Street Dental Associates, 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
  • Embarrassment
  • Negative previous experiences

Dental Phobias & Extreme Situations

Dental phobias are a more severe form of anxiety. It causes severe panic and terror, and people who have dental phobias will do anything to avoid going to the dentist, regardless of discomfort or pain. Most of the time, people are aware that their fear is unfounded, but they have no control over 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
  • Find 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 critical that you continue to see your dentist on a regular basis to avoid problems that can affect your dental health and overall well-being. Your dentist may recommend dental sedation as a method of receiving treatment. Although this is a viable option for some, it should not be your first line of defence. The best strategy for long-term success in your journey to good oral health is to overcome your anxiety or phobia through open communication and clear expectations.

For more advice or help with overcoming your dental anxiety, contact our Toronto dentists to book an appointment.

Nervous about visiting the dentist? We can help.

Our dentists can take the stress out of your next appointment with a range of sleep and sedation dentistry options.

Request Appointment

(416) 968-7900