Just about every person out there is familiar with what anxiety is, whether they have experienced it themselves first-hand or know someone who suffers from anxiety. And while it is discussed often and people are well-informed, there are branches of anxiety that aren’t quite as mainstream. Dental anxiety is a perfect example of a form of anxiety that can be quite debilitating, yet isn’t often discussed or acknowledged.
So, what exactly is dental anxiety, and how can a person deal with it? Let’s take a closer look.
Dental Anxiety – A Quick Summary
Dental anxiety is a very specific type of anxiety that is triggered by a visit to the dentist. Those who have it will describe it as stress, fear, anxiety, and even terror at the mere thought of going to the dentist. Even something simple like a check-up or teeth cleaning can trigger this anxiety – it doesn’t have to be just dental work.
For a person who suffers from dental anxiety, that fear can set in before you even make the appointment, or there may be triggers in the office that sets it off such as the drill or needles for freezing the teeth.
Dental anxiety affects men and women, adults and children. Symptoms can include crying, distress, fainting, low or high blood pressure, sweating, a racing heart, and more. So how many people suffer from dental anxiety or fear? According to a survey done by DentaVox, about one third of people in the United States avoid going to the dentist due to fear or anxiety.
Find a Dentist Who is Familiar with Dental Anxiety
In terms of how to deal with dental anxiety, your first response may be to avoid the dentist all-together. If you don’t go, then you won’t have to deal with the anxiety. The problem is that you then risk your oral health and well-being, which isn’t ideal. Instead it’s about finding a dentist that is familiar with dental anxiety and will work with you to make you as comfortable as possible.
Some dentists, such as those at Image Dental Care, will be able to offer sedation during the visit, which will of course help you to relax and feel more at ease. It’s a good idea to discuss this with the dentist before you come in for an actual appointment, and see if this is a service they offer. If so, there is typically a number of sedation options offered, so it’s also wise to research them and figure out what is best for you.
Additional Ways to Deal with Dental Anxiety
Besides finding a dentist who is understanding of your anxiety, there are also other steps you can take that will help. These include such things as meditation, deep breathing exercises, muscle relaxation, guided imagery, or using distractions such as watching TV or listening to your favorite music during the appointment
Dental anxiety is a very real issue that many people face, but it doesn’t have to mean your dental health suffers because of it.