Woman covering her mouth at the dentistIn many cases, when someone is afraid of something they can simply avoid it. Afraid of heights? No problem! Just avoid high places. Don’t like spiders? You can ask someone else to kill them. Unfortunately, it’s not so easy when you’re afraid of the dentist because everyone needs dental care! But there’s good news: there are things you can do to make seeing a family dentist in Scarborough easier. In this blog, you’ll learn about your options for managing fear and get some tips for navigating dental visits. Although every patient has unique needs, one (or all) of these will be right for you!

Use Relaxation Techniques

Here are some methods for easing fears before or during dental treatment:

  • Breathing – Focus on your breath by breathing in for a count of 4 and out for a count of 6. Counting your breath directs your attention away from your procedure and also relaxes your nervous system!
  • Headphones – Listening to something soothing is a great way to distract you from any dental work that’s being done and also reduces the noise of the dental instruments being used.
  • Meditation – For some patients, a regular meditation practice can make a huge difference in handling dental phobia.
  • Exercise – Even brisk walking can do wonders for handling stress, fear and anxiety. It doesn’t have to be going to the gym or doing anything strenuous!

Discuss Your Fears

With a dental phobia, one of the best things you can do is discuss how you feel with a dentist in Scarborough. Even the simple act of feeling truly heard will alleviate some of your anxiety. It also means you can work together to make a plan for managing your fears and feeling comfortable during dental visits.

And remember, a good dentist will be able to empathize and make sure you feel safe through every step of your appointment. Simply building that trust will also make a big difference!

Consider Sedation Options

If you think you could benefit from sedation, don’t hesitate to ask about which option is right for you. Sedation is a game-changer for many patients who struggle with dental phobia!

  • Nitrous Oxide – Often referred to as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide is a wonderful way to calm mild anxiety and fear. One advantage of nitrous is that its effects are almost immediate and wear off within minutes.
  • Oral Sedation – This type of sedation is a prescription medication that you’ll take the day of your appointment. It’s incredibly calming, so you’ll have little to no anxiety during your appointment. It also produces an amnesia-like effect, so many patients don’t remember their appointment. Since its effects last several hours, you’ll need a trusted friend or relative to drive you to and from your appointment.

Everyone deserves good oral health. With these guidelines for managing anxiety, great care is accessible for even the most fearful patient!

About the Author

As a dentist, one of Dr. Samantha Amaro’s primary goals is to make dental care as easy as possible for her patients with dental phobia. She always gets immense satisfaction from helping people overcome their fears and get the care they need to have a healthy smile. If you have any questions, she can be reached via her website or at (416) 285-4545.