Being afraid of the dentist is a common phenomenon. In fact, a recent Canadian survey found that:
- 5.5% of Canadians indicated that they were ‘very afraid or terrified’ of dental visits.
- A further 10% were ‘somewhat afraid.’
- 36% of respondents reported feeling a ‘little afraid’ of dental care while 61.2% of them said they were ‘slightly anxious’ about endodontic treatment.
Here are 3 main ways in which Macleod Trail Dental works to make your visit in our dental chair as comfortable and stress-free as possible.
- Sedation Dentistry
For patients who fear of the dentist, we are able to offer comfortable, safe and effective sedation dentistry. Sedation medications, called benzodiazepines, can calm you and alleviate any anxiety you may be experiencing. These medications are administered orally and allow you to be fully alert, able to respond to questions, yet totally relaxed and unaware of the sights, smells and sounds of the dental office. Some of their benefits include:
- Alleviation of stress
- Few side effects
- Can be used during each visit
- No pain and no needles
Sedation dentistry can be used for a range of dental treatments such as teeth cleaning, chipped teeth, wisdom teeth removal, tooth extractions, root canals and any other procedure where a patient is suffering from dental phobia or is facing extensive dental work. Based on your treatment needs and medical history, our dentists will be able to determine whether it is a safe and effective choice for you.
At Macleod Trail Dental Clinic, we’re committed to developing comfortable and trusting relationships with all of our clients and use effective communication strategies to help our patients overcome their fear of the dentist. Such methods include:
- Pre-treatment consultation. Prior to any treatment, our Calgary dentists will have a comprehensive discussion with you about all of your options. You are encouraged to take an active part in this discussion so you know exactly what to expect from your treatment. This is often the differentiating factor between those suffering from dental phobias and those who have a found a way to work past it.
- A signal system.We will go over pre-determined hand gestures so you can let the dentist or hygienist know whenever you are feeling overwhelmed or would like to take a brief pause from the treatment. We never want you to feel uncomfortable and promise to do everything we can to put you at ease.
- Tell-show-do technique. During the treatment, our dentist will take the time to explain what we are about to do and show you what is happening at every stage of the procedure. We find that by informing our patients about what is happening, they naturally become more comfortable and less anxious during treatment.
- Distraction. Activities such as listening to music or watching movies really helps relax our patients. By focusing on something more pleasant, your levels of stress and worry significantly decrease.
Numerous studies have shown that when you are tense or worried, your body releases ‘stress hormones’ such as adrenaline. This causes your muscles to tighten, your breath to speed up and the pain receptors in your brain to become more sensitive. In order to help our patients keep their anxiety levels low, we guide you through relaxation techniques such as:
- Deep breathing: By taking in slow deep breaths the steady oxygen flow will have a calming effect on your entire body. This is a great technique to use on your drive to our dental office or while waiting for your appointment.
- Guided Imagery: This is a convenient and simple relaxation technique which helps you quickly and easily manage stress and reduce muscle tension. We encourage our patients to envision themselves in the most calming environment they can picture, whether it’s a ‘happy place’ in your memory, a scene from your favourite movie, or a place that you’ve always wanted to visit.
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation: These exercises involve progressively tensing and then relaxing certain muscles or muscle groups. Actively engaging in progressive muscle relaxation exercises will effectively loosen and relax your tense muscles.
At Macleod Trail Dental Clinic, we tailor our techniques to suit your specific needs and anxiety triggers, helping you tackle your fear of the dentist successfully. For more information on how we can make your next dental visit more comfortable or to book an appointment, call us at 403-253-1248 or email us at email@example.com.