Dental Phobia: Is It Real?

Dental phobia may seem like it has become a popular topic in recent times, but in reality, this condition has existed just as long as general dentistry has. It is not uncommon for a patient to experience some anxiety about going to the dentist, but for some people, the level of anxiety can be so severe that they actually avoid the dentist altogether.

If you notice that you are overly anxious about your upcoming oral check-up or you have avoided the dentist out of fear, you may suffer from dental phobia. The good news is there are treatment options like sedation dentistry, which allows for one to still maintain oral health despite extreme anxiety.

What are the Common Symptoms of Dental Phobia?

Dental phobia can be confused with general nervousness, but there are some distinct differences, such as:

  • Shortness of breath, panicked breathing, etc. similar to when you are scared or frightened by something.
  • Increased heart rate, especially as your appointment draws near or when you arrive at the dentist’s office.
  • Feeling as though you are going to have a heart attack, but you are having an anxiety attack, also known as a panic attack.
  • Extreme nausea or even vomiting as your appointment approaches.
  • Shaking uncontrollably, whether at home or at the dentist’s office.

What Causes Dental Phobia?

Dental phobias manifest for a variety of reasons; whether it is from a bad childhood experience or just generalized fear of dental offices. A child’s experience as well as their parents’ behaviour toward dental visits also plays a role. Most dental phobias stem from:

  • Prior painful or bad experiences at the dental office
  • The feeling of helplessness or being out of control in the dentist’s chair
  • Feeling embarrassed about poor oral hygiene
  • Fear of being ridiculed for not taking care of your teeth as properly as you should
  • Fear of the unknown - no one truly knows how their dental appointment will go; therefore it is not uncommon for an individual to generate anxiety from that unknown factor
Working with dental phobia in Calgary, Alberta

Treating Dental Phobias

There are treatment options for dental phobias and anxiety. If you suffer from a significant fear of the dentist, let your dentist in Calgary know. They can do what is referred to as “sedation dentistry.” This form of therapy helps put you at ease while in the dentist’s chair.

Sedation dentistry can be administered orally, through IV sedation or by using nitrous oxide. Depending on your level of anxiety and the type of procedure, your dentist will be able to decide which sedation therapy is right for you.

If you suffer from dental phobias, do not let it get in the way of oral hygiene and your overall health. Instead, turn to sedation dentistry in Calgary by calling Go Dental. We understand the fears you face, but we are here to help make your experience in our dental chairs a great one.

Call us to learn more about our sedation therapies at 403-407-2028 or fill out an online contact form with your questions.

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