Want to understand how dental anxiety can get in the way of someone’s ability to get the dental treatment they need for good oral health? Those currently living with any level of anxiety need to take action to address their anxiety to be sure they can get all the dental treatments they need for good oral health.
What does dental anxiety mean?
Very few know what dental anxiety means, and some do not know that it exists. According to Harvard Health, some people are so terrorized by the thought of going to the dentist that they avoid the experience altogether.Some of the more common symptoms of this type of anxiety include a racing heart, sweating, crying, panic attacks, anger, irritability, nervousness, withdrawal, racing thoughts, and an overall feeling of being overwhelmed. In addition, dental anxiety triggers can include hearing a dental drill, thinking about needles, and not fully understanding what will happen during an appointment.
What can cause someone to experience dental anxiety?
Dental anxiety can stem from a few different reasons, such as experiencing pain during a previous dental appointment, feeling a loss of control during an appointment, and feeling embarrassed due to having a lot of dental problems. While no one wants to experience pain, some people will let the thought of experiencing any dental-related pain overwhelm them. Or they may have experienced a lot of pain during a previous dental appointment, making it so they are now afraid to see a dentist.
A loss of control can also bring about anxiety, as many people need to know what will happen to feel better prepared. In addition, when it comes to embarrassment, those with oral problems, like badly damaged teeth or bad oral hygiene, do not want to be judged, triggering anxiety when thinking about going to the dental office.
Tips for addressing dental anxiety
Those who experience any level of anxiety can use one or more of these tips to help them cope once it comes time to go to a dental office. Some of the tips require doing things days and even weeks before it is time for them to go to their dental appointment.
Some of the more common tips used that have proven to be helpful include bringing a friend, getting plenty of sleep, listening to music during the appointment, using breathing techniques, and meeting the dental team before the appointment to ask questions and/or get an overall tour.
Currently, experiencing any level of dental anxiety?
The tips above are beneficial, making it a good idea for those living with anxiety to try them out to find out which ones will benefit them. Know that our dental team is available when needed.