The secret to properly coping with dental phobia is to discuss your fears with your dentist. Once your dentist understands what your fears are, he or she will be able to determine the best way to make you less apprehensive, and more comfortable. If for some reason your dentist doesn’t take your fear seriously then it may be time to find another person to care for your oral health.

If you are like many individuals who say that lack of control is one of their main stressors, participating in a healthy discussion with your dentist about the details of your treatment can often relieve a great deal of tension. Feel free to talk to your dentist about what is happening at every stage of the procedure. This will enable you to mentally prepare for what’s coming next.

Another helpful method is to establish a signal that will inform the dentist to immediately stop. You can use this signal whenever you are uncomfortable, need to rinse your mouth, or simply have to catch your breath. If you suffer from dental phobia, the secret to getting through a visit to the dentist lies in open and productive communication.

The following is a list of reasons why some people experience dental phobia: (

  • Fear of injections or fear the injection won’t work. Many people are terrified of needles, especially when inserted into their mouth. Beyond this fear, others fear that the anesthesia hasn’t yet taken effect or wasn’t a large enough dose to eliminate any pain before the dental procedure begins.
  • Fear of anesthetic side effects. Some people fear the potential side effects of anesthesia such as dizziness, feeling faint, or nausea. Others don’t like the numbness or “fat lip” associated with local anesthetics.
  • Feelings of helplessness and loss of control. It’s common for people to feel these emotions considering the situation — sitting in a dental chair with your mouth wide open, unable to see what’s going on.
  • Embarrassment and loss of personal space. Many people feel uncomfortable about the physical closeness of the dentist or hygienist to their face. Others may feel self-conscious about the appearance of their teeth or possible mouth odours.

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