Dental anxiety is a type of phobia where one expresses fears about visiting the dentist. There are many triggers of dental anxiety in adults, which is something you can read further on below. When your anxiety of the dentist is severe, this is an irrational fear where you completely avoid visiting the dentist.
Avoiding the dentist can result in having a worsening effect on your oral health. When this happens, you’re at greater risk of emergency treatment because your teeth will be in a poor state.
Dental practices are doing more to curb dental phobia and anxiety, with the use of sedation dentistry that can help become consciously relaxed whilst the dentist gets to work on your teeth.
You would also be missing out on key recommendations and advice to look after your teeth at home. This is vital so you can adopt the right lifestyle tips to keep your oral health in check.
Dental Anxiety Symptoms
Sometimes, you can be unaware that you’re experiencing dental anxiety. If you’re unaware of your dental anxiety, here are some of the symptoms to make you aware of it:
- A high or escalating heartbeat
- Low blood pressure
- Signs of stress and visible distress
- Getting into a state of panic
- Withdrawal to hide anxiety
When suffering from any of these symptoms, it is likely that you’ll avoid dental check-ups and find it difficult to undergo any dental treatments.
Causes Of Dental Anxiety
There are many reasons why as an adult, you fear visiting the dentist. This doesn’t’ necessarily mean it is your first upcoming visit. Here are some of the reasons that cause dental anxiety and phobia.
- A past traumatic dental experience
- Suffering from general anxiety of something new
- Suffering from depression or post-traumatic stress disorder
- Fear of losing teeth
- Fear of negative responses about your teeth, requiring emergency treatment
- A lack of trust with your dentist
Ways To Manage Dental Anxiety
Suffering from general anxiety is something difficult to manage at times. In terms of visiting the dentist, there are steps you can take to reduce your dental anxiety so you can become accustomed to regular positive visits.
- Notify The Dentist – If a dental check-up is due, the first thing you need to do is tell your dentist so they can prepare themselves and take the necessary steps to make your experience comfortable and relaxed.
- Distractions – Sometimes, distracting your mind from the dentist is a great way to avoid thinking about your appointment. You can bring your favourite music or request the dentist to use screens so your mind can be distracted.
- Meditation – Meditation is a great technique to keep your mind relaxed and reduce your anxiety levels. Use this time to think positive upon your visit to the dentist.
- Sedation Techniques – If you continue to feel anxious when you arrive for your appointment, the dentist may request analgesia (happy gas) or nitrous oxide to help you get through your appointment.
Dental anxiety and phobias are common with everybody at some stage. It is important that you’re aware of it and perform the steps needed to become accustomed to visiting the dentist regularly. This will benefit you and your oral health. Does your child suffer from dental anxiety? You can learn how to reduce it by clicking here.
If you’re seeking support with your dental anxiety, at Springvale Dental Smiles, we will do all we can to ensure your visit to the dentist is as comfortable and relaxed as possible.
If you need a dental check-up, contact us today by booking an appointment with us.