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Dental phobia

About dental phobia

Around 50% of the population suffers from anxiety when faced with the possibility of dental treatments and therefore neglect to consult a dentist regularly. This irrational fear is called dental phobia and is a serious affliction that can be treated.

Lack of dental care

Consequences of lack of dental care include chronic infection of the gums and teeth that can lead, over time, to speech impediments, self-esteem issues and cause halitosis. Left untreated, some dental problems can contribute to the development of infections and affect your general health.

Causes of dental phobia

The most common sources of dental phobia come from negative past experiences, stories of unsuccessful dental and medical procedures or even the image of dentistry broadcasted by the media. Sometimes, a family member suffering from this phobia can reinforce someone’s fear.

Even if some patients’ phobia is the result of deep trauma, most people who feel deep fear of dental treatment have gone through bad experiences, often in their youth. For those who were traumatized early on and whose pain was not considered, each visit to the dentist is a trip back to a feeling of fear and distress.

Signs of dental phobia

Here are the most common signs:

  • severe anxiety about dentistry;
  • failure to visit the dentist;
  • ignoring of dental issues, even if they cause vivid pain;
  • great stress before a dental appointment;
  • frequent cancelling of dental appointments;
  • physical unrest and stress at the thought of a dental injection;
  • anxiety at the sight of dental instruments;
  • sweaty palms and hands gripped to the dental chair;
  • accelerated heart beat, dry mouth and even nausea;
  • unbearable sense of losing control.

Children and the dentist

To prepare their child, parents can tell them the day before that they will be seeing the dentist. This will help them develop a positive feeling towards dental treatment. The dental team will be able to explain each step of the appointment the day of.

Pick a time that works well for your children to make sure, among other things, that they are not tired. Find a dentist that your are comfortable with. The reception and waiting area should be pleasing and welcoming.

Many children fear the treatment rather than the dentist himself. A good way to calm them is for the parent to undergo a cleaning first that the child will witness. This way, they will realize that it is a painless and easy procedure. When you are around your children, always talk positively about the dentist and your own experiences. When it comes to your children’s dental care, use positive reinforcement.

Talk to our dental team to learn more ways in which you can prepare your children to an appointment.

Treatment of dental phobia

Treatment of dental phobia can start with a discussion with our empathetic dentists, a family member or a friend, or by joining a support group. Find a dentist who is patient, competent, able and willing to inform you and who will make sure your time at the clinic is as enjoyable as possible.

Other methods

  • Performing local anesthesia with a product free of adrenaline, which contributes to accelerating the cardiac rhythm and to the feeling of fear.
  • Using nitrous oxide (laughing gaz).
  • Taking anxiety medicine before the treatment.
  • Undergoing acupuncture treatment to lessen the symptoms.
  • Being under hypnosis.
  • Going to psychotherapy sessions.