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Preparing to go to the Dentist When You Fear the Dentist

2021.05.17
Cynthia Hoy

Patients can sometimes suffer from dental anxiety or have dental phobia – fear or stress about visiting the dentist. It is estimated that between 13%-24% of people can suffer from dental phobia. If dental fear is something you experience, it’s important to talk to Dr. Beeram about your nervousness. He is understanding of people that fear going to the dentist and can discuss your situation with you, finding solutions that will work. 

Before going to your dental care appointment, there are strategies you can use to have the best possible outcome. Set aside some time before your appointment and try some of these techniques. You may find something that works for you or you may need to try a few different things out before you find the right combination. Every person is different and it may take some practice or trying a few techniques before you find the right one to help you with your dental anxiety. 

Strategies to Help with Dental Anxiety

  1. Book your dental procedure early in the day. This will leave you less time to worry about it. People can also have difficulty sleeping the night before so going to the dentist in the morning just after you get up may be helpful. Give yourself lots of time. Don’t book anything soon after your appointment so that other commitments add to your stress.
  2. Avoid food that might make you jittery. Avoid high caffeine or high sugar foods that may increase your anxiousness. Eat some protein so you feel full and so that hunger doesn’t increase your uncomfortableness. 
  3. Set aside some time to meditate or practice mindfulness breathing exercises. Continue to take slow, deep breaths as you make your way to your dental appointment. This will signal to your body to remain calm, relax your muscles, slow down your heart rate and reduce anxiety.
  4. Talk to your therapist or counsellor if you have one that you see. Those with extensive fears may also wish to discuss anti-anxiety medication with their medical care professional. 
  5. Try exercising before your appointment. Exercise, even walking, can stimulate your endorphins and improve your mood for several hours. 
  6. Do one of your favourite activities like shopping, watching a funny tv show, taking a hot bath or cooking a delicious recipe. Others find comfort in doing monotonous tasks like washing dishes, spring cleaning or playing a routine game. 

Others Fear Dental Visits Too

Here’s a valuable resource for those wanting more advice or to connect with others that fear the dentist. This is a common fear and you’re not alone. For some, there is fear around the dental equipment and for others there may be shame about your teeth or feeling out of control. Some have had bad experiences with dental treatments or fear dental pain. Don’t allow your fear to let you avoid the dentist or skip appointments. 

We Want You To Feel Comfortable

Our office is dedicated to making sure patients feel comfortable. Talk to Dr. Beeram at your appointment about your fears or let the team know when you book your appointment. Sedation dentistry is also an option for patients that is offered at our dental clinic. Before leaving, schedule your next appointment so your oral health is maintained.

Please contact us if you have any questions or wish to schedule an appointment. We look forward to seeing you. 

 

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels