Does going to the dentist make you feel anxious?
Going in for your appointment can be a significant source of stress.
The idea of having a stranger poke around in your mouth isn’t appealing to anyone. Not to mention the sound of the drills and tools that make your heart race. And perhaps worst of all, there’s the feeling of not being in control once you’re in the chair.
Those things are enough to trigger intense bouts of anxiety or panic in anyone, but especially in the 40% of Canadians who experience odontophobia, also known as dental anxiety.
If you fall into that category, it’s understandable that you’re avoiding the dentist like the plague. But is your fear preventing you from being completely healthy?
How can I manage my dental anxiety?
It can be difficult to escape the grasp that anxiety and panic have you in, especially when it comes to visiting the dentist. But putting off a visit to the dentist, whether it’s routine or otherwise, is not the solution. Your overall health depends on it.
To begin to overcome your anxiety, it’s important to discover where it’s coming from.
Trusting a new dentist
If you’re switching dentists after many years, it can be difficult to build a connection with someone new. You have to trust this person to not only take care of you, but also with vulnerable information like your finances and health history.
Setting up a consultation gives you the opportunity to meet your new dentist informally. You can bring up any concerns or questions you may have, and it acts as a non-committal screening for you to check your compatibility and comfortability with this new person.
A successful consultation should be private and personalized to your needs from start to finish. It should allow you to walk out the doors feeling confident and in control of each step of your new journey.
Feeling comfortable during the appointment
Whether you’ve just switched dentists or you’re looking for ways to manage your anxiety at your upcoming appointments, you’ll be pleased to know that there are ways to feel more comfortable.
At our office, we offer a revolutionary new technology called NuCalm that is designed to put your nerves to rest – literally.
This alternative to drugs is a four part relaxation system that involves:
- Natural sleep hormones in the form of a topical cream or pill that allow your body to descend into a resting state.
- Noise cancellation headphones that play soothing binaural beats (this involves two tones in each of your ears, both of which differ in frequency) to soothe your brainwaves and make you even more relaxed.
- A pain-free electric current called a neurostimulator that stimulates your rest receptors.
- A sleep mask so that you’re not overstimulated by bright lights, allowing you to enter a meditative state in your mind and body during treatment.
Not knowing what to expect
Fear of the unknown is a big part of why many people avoid visiting the dentist. We believe that a successful dentist-patient relationship begins with open communication, and that is what you can expect from us from your first consultation.
At your first visit, you’ll undergo a new patient exam where you’ll meet with your dentist to discuss the current state of your oral and overall health so they can design a custom treatment plan that will bring your oral health to tip-top shape.
It’s important to know that your entire experience, from the new patient exam to treatment, is a judgement free journey. If you’ve been avoiding the dentist because you’re afraid of what they might say, the last thing you want to hear is what you’ve done wrong or what you should have done. We can’t change the past, but we can help you correct your mistakes for a healthier future.
Once you share your goals, both aesthetic and health-related, we’ll work with you to design a custom treatment plan to help reach your goals. There will be a range of treatments that range from those we think are essential to those that are optional, but it’s your choice which ones you choose. You will always be in the driver’s seat when it comes to your oral and overall health. We stand by this promise so much, we give you the option to bring your treatment plan to another dentist for a second opinion (or bring theirs to us to review).
Whether you want to jump right in and get all of the recommended treatments or you want to take a slower approach, we are here to help you make the best decisions and overcome your dental anxiety.
If you’re ready to stop letting fear hold you back from a beautiful smile and healthy gums, reach out to Dr. Andrea Stevens today.