Understanding and Managing Dental Anxiety

It is not uncommon for many people to experience some apprehension at the thought of an upcoming dental visit. Some people, however, experience an outright phobia of visiting the dentist, despite the fact that modern dentistry is virtually pain-free and much more comfortable than dentistry of the past.

Dental phobia is characterized by feelings of fright and even terror before visiting the dentist. It may cause intense physical unease, trouble sleeping, and even physical illness. Such reactions often keep people with dental phobia from going for routine checkups, increasing their chances for tooth decay and gum disease.

The dentists at Eastgate Dental Centre understand that some patients may have dental anxiety. We want all of our patients with dental anxiety to understand why it may be happening to them, and what they can do to overcome their fears and keep up with their dental health checkups.

Why Do Some People Experience Dental Anxiety?
As with any phobia, instances of dental anxiety can be caused by numerous different factors in a person's life. Some people are afraid of experiencing pain while in the dentist chair, especially when the procedure requires anesthesia that they fear won't work.

Others are concerned about feeling helpless and as if they have no control. After all, lying back in a chair with your mouth wide open can seem like a fairly compromising situation. They may also feel a loss of personal space and even embarrassment at the thought of having someone sitting closely to them looking at their teeth and gums.

It is also possible that such fears have been reinforced by unpleasant experiences earlier in life, especially as a child. If you have experienced pain and discomfort in the past, then it is only natural to fear that it may happen again.

What Are Some Good Solutions for Dental Anxiety?
People manage to overcome their dental anxiety using a number of different strategies. Some like to bring a friend or family member along as a supportive and comforting presence. Others choose to practice relaxation techniques beforehand, or to distract themselves once in the dentist chair by listening to music.

Many people have found that the best way to deal with dental anxiety is to let their dentist know about it. The dentist can then offer certain strategies to ease any tension during the appointment, such as talking you through every step of the procedure or agreeing on hand signals that mean you need a short break.

At the Eastgate Dental Centre we want everyone who needs to see a dentist to feel heard and respected at our Hamilton clinic. Whether you've just come for a regular cleaning or for procedures such as dental implants or cosmetic dentistry, we'll make it a point to hear out all of your concerns.

It's time to stop putting off going to the dentist and schedule an appointment with the Hamilton family dentists at the Eastgate Dental Centre today.
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