Did you know that people can have a fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of their mouth? This phobia is called arachibutyrophobia, which seems as wild as it looks.
While most people can avoid arachibutyrophobia, people cannot avoid situations with a dental phobia. Dental checkups are important to maintain your oral health, and a dental phobia is a legitimate fear that deters people from visiting a dental clinic. On a positive note, there are many clinics specialized for treating patients with a dental phobia, and it’s common to see Ottawa dentists accepting new patients.
Below are several methods that can help you conquer dental fears.
Problem 1: Fear of the Unknown
It’s understandable to be afraid of things you’re unfamiliar with. However, it shouldn’t bring you to the point of hugging the walls of a dental clinic. Prior to visiting a dental clinic, make a list of questions and meet with your dentist. Don’t be afraid to ask about everything you’re unsure of! The more you know, the more mentally prepared you can be. Another tip is ask your dentist to talk you through the procedure during your treatment.
Problem 2: You can’t stand the Noises
If you have dental anxiety, maybe you’re envisioning a horror movie scene when you hear small whirring noises. Distracting yourself is a good method to minimize this fear. Some dental clinics are equipped with televisions to keep your mind off the procedure. You could also bring in your own music player and listen to soothing music during treatment as well. Dentists accepting new patients, especially those with anxiety, are very open to new ideas for you to feel comfortable.
Problem 3: You’re putting up a Fight
When you’re afraid, your body responds to danger by entering a fight-or-flight mode. If you’re not avoiding the dental clinic, you should commend yourself for facing your fear! However, you might tense up from entering a fight mode. You can remedy this by reminding yourself that you’re in a safe place. Make yourself as comfortable as you can, by using pillows or blankets offered by the dental clinic, or by bringing someone you trust with you.
Problem 4: Heightened Senses
Believe it or not, you can be sedated during your visit to the dental clinic. This treatment involves using nitrous oxide (aka laughing gas) to make yourself more relaxed during treatment. As a side effect of fear, your body heightens its senses as a form of protection—which also makes it difficult to feel comfortable. By becoming sedated, your senses decrease, as well as your anxiety.
There are many dental clinics that have accommodations for dental anxiety, and many dentists are accepting new patients. Don’t hesitate to contact a new dental clinic and find one that suits your needs!
Interested in learning more about dental sedation? Read our previous blog explaining everything you need to know about nitrous oxide!