Are you afraid of the dentist? Does the idea of having your teeth examined make you feel nervous? This condition, most frequently called dental anxiety, is common but very treatable. At Trillium Dentistry in Ottawa, we are committed to helping you find ways to combat this fear in order to improve your dental health and to have an even better smile!
Contact us today to set up an appointment at any of our dental clinics.
What Dental Anxiety Looks and Feels Like
While it is very common to feel some nervousness about going to the dentist, dental anxiety can be a severe problem for a lot of people. If you or a member of your family is very anxious about receiving dental care, it can take many different forms, including:
- A fast heart rate
- Visible signs of distress, including crying, panic attacks, and lashing out
- Feeling trapped
- Regularly missing appointments
What Causes Dental Anxiety
There is not one single cause of dental anxiety. In fact, each person with dental anxiety may have more than one cause. For most people, it is a fear of pain and discomfort that makes them feel anxious when they think about dental treatment, but others may have issues of trust or trauma that contribute to their dental phobia. Other causes include:
- Pre-existing issues with anxiety
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Traumatic experiences with other kinds of healthcare providers
- Fear of illness
How Common is Dental Anxiety?
It is important to know that people with dental anxiety are not alone. Fear or anxiety about going to the dentist is a very common feeling — a majority of adults experience at least some fear or nervousness before and during dental visits. While there are some legitimate reasons for dental anxiety (like some of the causes mentioned above), one way that you can begin to feel better about the dentist is to realize that your anxiety is most likely a learned feeling, meaning it can be changed.
Our clinic will do everything possible to lessen or eliminate the causes of fear and anxiety that you feel, up to and including sedation dentistry. Keep reading this page to find a list of other methods that can help reduce your anxiety about seeing the dentist or give any of our clinics a call to set up an appointment.
How Dental Anxiety Negatively Impacts Your Health
While it can be good for your health to avoid some things that cause you anxiety, not visiting the dentist for teeth cleanings, X-rays, and other routine dental care can have very serious consequences for your health, including:
- Damage to your teeth, gums, tongue, and jaw that could be prevented with regular checkups and preventative care
- Lost and/or broken teeth
- Gum disease
- Bone loss
- Heart disease
- Oral cancer
Unfortunately, the longer you put off going to the dentist, the more severe many of these problems can be, which also means that the treatments can be more intense, more expensive, and possibly more painful. This avoidance of the dentist turns into a vicious cycle where fear of the consequences of lackluster dental health can lead to worse dental health.
If you are ready to take control of your oral health, contact Trillium Dentistry in Ottawa today. We will work with you to find a plan that will work for you. Whether we need to discuss sedation dentistry or multiple appointments to help alleviate your anxiety, we are happy to accommodate you.