It’s common to feel a bit apprehensive about going to the dentist. Perhaps you are already in pain, or you are worried about the discomfort you might feel when you get into the dental chair. That’s to be expected and your Mitcham dentist will do all they can to reassure you. However, for some people, the anxiety they feel about going to the dentist is much worse than just feeling nervous.

Dental phobia

Dental Phobia
Dental phobia is an irrational fear of going to the dentist. If you have a dental phobia, it can cause you to feel so bad that you avoid going altogether. However, this can make things worse. If you miss routine appointments with your dentist in Mitcham, you can develop more serious problems that require even more invasive treatment.

Symptoms:
If you have a dental phobia, you might experience sweating and a racing heartbeat. You may panic, become distressed, or even faint.

Causes:
There are lots of causes of dental anxiety and phobia. It can be a result of a traumatic experience, a fear of a loss of control, trust issues, an obsession around cleanliness, depression, or another condition.

How a Mitcham Dentist Can Help

You can help yourself to cope with your anxiety by finding a Mitcham dentist who is sympathetic to your situation. Explain how you feel so your dentist can decide on the best way to proceed. There is no need to feel embarrassed as your dentist will have helped people of all ages with similar concerns and fears to you.

With sympathy, kindness, and reassurance, some people cope much better with their dental appointment. You can ask your dentist to explain all the steps involved in your check-up or treatment before they even look in your mouth and to show you the tools and equipment they will use so you won’t have to worry about nasty surprises. Agree on rest breaks and signals you can use to indicate to your dentist that you want them to stop.

You can also try deep breathing techniques, distractions such as headphones, or hypnosis. You may need to be referred to a psychologist for cognitive behavioural therapy to help you understand what is triggering your anxiety.

If your dental anxiety is severe, and you are unable to deal with it, there are strategies in place to help you.

– Nitrous oxide is a type of gas that you inhale via a face mask. Also known as happy gas or laughing gas, nitrous oxide can help you to relax.
– Oral anxiolytic tablets such as temazepam can help you to feel calm and relaxed.
– IV sedation into a vein in your arm or hand is administered by a specialist or anaesthetist. You may drift off into a light sleep, but you will still respond to your dentist.
– General anaesthesia is administered in a hospital setting. During your treatment, you will be fully asleep.

If you are struggling to cope with the fear and intense feelings you experience when you visit the dentist, let us know. We will do all that we can to make sure you are comfortable. For an appointment with a sympathetic dentist in Mitcham, get in touch with Holistic Dental Donvale.

Sources: 
https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/ConditionsAndTreatments/dental-anxiety-and-phobia
https://www.bupadental.com.au/blog/article/facing-fears-how-to-manage-dental-anxiety

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