A family dentist is trained to help you in many ways, most importantly by helping you get better-looking teeth and oral health. But there are other ways your dental hygienist can also help with dental phobias—and it may be surprising!

What is Dental Phobia?

Dental phobia is a common condition that affects many people. A person with dental phobia may be afraid of going to the dentist or experience anxiety and discomfort from just thinking about visiting their family dentist.

Dental phobia is not a mental illness; it is a learned behaviour or reaction to something that frightens you. As such, you can do things to help treat this condition, including seeing your family doctor for possible medication or psychotherapy. You should know that having dental phobia does not make you weak—it’s completely normal, and everyone experiences fear at some point in their lives!

How do you know if you have a dental phobia?

  • If you avoid going to the dentist because of your phobia.
  • If you have a panic attack while in the dentist’s chair.
  • If you are afraid of needles and other dental tools that may be used on your teeth during an examination or treatment plan.

How can your family dentist help with dental phobias?

The dentist can help by making you aware of the painful things that will happen during your dental appointment so the pain doesn’t come as a surprise. The dentist can also help with any fears you have about the unknown, such as what the procedure will feel like and how long it will take.

If you’re afraid of being judged for not brushing your teeth or flossing often enough, your family dentist can let others know how important these practices are for good oral health. Your family dentist will have also hired competent, compassionate office staff. They are friendly and welcoming when they greet patients who are nervous about their first appointment at their practice and can help ease your concerns with attentive care. There are also various treatment options to help reduce your anxious feelings and maximize your comfort during your visit.

Can sedation or anesthesia help with my dental phobia?

Sedation and anesthesia are two different types of drugs that can help you overcome a fear of the dentist. Sedation is used to relax you and make you comfortable, while anesthesia puts you completely to sleep. Both types of drugs have side effects and risks associated with them, so it’s important to consult your doctor about which one is best for your situation.

If sedation sounds like it may be right for you, there are several options available:

  • Oral Sedation—This type of medication is given shortly after arriving at the office. A non-sedating antihistamine may be prescribed along with this drug to prevent any allergic reactions that could occur from receiving an oral sedative alone.
  • Conscious Sedation—Your dentist may administer nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas,” which will inhibit anxious feelings and help you feel calmer and lighter throughout the operation. You are totally conscious and responsive, though some patients have described it as a slightly dream-like state where time quickly flies by.

Whatever your dental fears, anxieties or phobias, our professionals are experienced in helping people just like you. We are passionate about helping people feel confident and healthy when it comes to oral health and will help ease your concerns and get your smile back to its brightest and cleanest look! Get in touch today at 905-702-0222.