Easing Dental Anxiety

Easing Dental Anxiety

Dec 01, 2019

Do you always get anxious when it is time to see your dentist? Dental anxiety is a common condition among patients. Both children and adults can suffer from dental anxiety. It is the fear associated with dental treatment. For some patients, the anxiety can graduate to a more complex phobia. Dental phobia can leave patients panic-stricken, with no control over their emotions. Although such patients are aware of how irrational the fears are, they do not have much control over the phenomena.

Instead of trying to shake off the fears and consulting a dentist in Waco, TX, patients with dental anxiety resolve for avoidance. This can be problematic for their oral health. The first step to help you handle dental anxiety is understanding what causes it in the first place.

What Causes Dental Phobia and Anxiety?

  • Fear of pain – medical treatments often induce pain. Depending on the circumstances under which you are visiting a dentist, the fear of pain can be nerve-racking. Some patients are scared of pain rooting from a previous dental experience they had. If, for example, you had a tooth extracted when you were young, the memory of pain can cause fear even in adulthood.
  • Fear of injection – it is not uncommon to find adults who have a fear of getting injected. The thought of a needle pricking through any part of their body instills feelings of fear. The feeling is worse when the injection happens in the mouth. For the most part, dental treatments require injection on the target area with local anesthesia. Although the goal is to numb the area in readiness for the procedure, not all patients share the same feelings.
  • Fear of anesthesia – much as anxiety is a problem, patients can have a fear of being sedated. Sedation dentistry near you is meant to help calm your nerves through dental procedures. However, some patients still have fears over the side effects of the sedation. Nausea and dizziness are the most common side effects that get people aggravated about dental care.
  • Loss of personal space – dental care involves intruding personal space to observe oral health keenly. It involves the dentist checking through your mouth and following through with elaborate questions. The situation is worse for patients who are insecure about how their teeth look. This, for some people, might make them feel less in control over the situation. It can then provoke feelings of anxiety to lose personal space.
  • Trauma – some patients have had bad medical experiences in the past. They do not even have to concern dental care. Something about visiting a medical facility awakens the memories of the previous traumas, making anxiety a reality.

Signs and Symptoms of Dental Anxiety

It is natural to feel a little bit anxious about visiting your dentist. However, when the situation gets out of hand, it can hold you back from keeping up with your oral health. If you want to know whether or not you suffer from dental anxiety, here are some signs and symptoms that might indicate the fear and discomfort thereof:

  • Heart palpitations – if the thought of going to a dental clinic gets your heart beating so fast, then you may have dental anxiety issues.
  • Fainting – this can be caused by low blood pressure that is followed by the idea of having a dentist examine your teeth.
  • Visible distress – this is noted when patients walk into a dental clinic. It can be crying, signs of panic and distress, to mention a few.
  • Sweating – especially on the palms and feet.
  • Missing dental appointments – avoidance is the most common way that anxious patients deal with dental fear.

How to Manage Dental Anxiety

Fortunately, there is a solution for patients with dental anxiety. You do not have to live all your life, afraid of seeing a dentist. Here are some measures you can take:

  • Talk to your dentist about it – once they know you have fears, they are better placed at coming up with solutions for you. It is why oral sedation dentistry in Waco, TX, exists for patients with dental anxiety.
  • Take a deep breath – even before you visit a dentist that can put you to sleep near you, take several deep breaths as you await your turn with the dentist.
  • Distract yourself – listen to music, watch a movie, or jot in a journal.