Dental anxiety is an interesting topic. It is much more common than any other health related anxiety, and can even become as serious as dental phobia.
Dental anxiety typically stems from several common issues:
Fear of pain. —This typically results from a poor childhood dental experience or a horror story from a close family member or friend. Fortunately, virtually all common dental treatments have been updated and made less painful, or even pain-free in many cases.
Fear of injections. —An injection in the mouth is a particularly common fear, and no one likes injections in general. Many also fear that the injection won’t work, or it will wear off before the treatment is over. This rarely happens, and steps are being taken to eliminate the need for needles in many cases.
Loss of personal space. — Many people don’t like the idea of someone in their face, or fear embarrassment from a mouth odor or the state of their teeth.
Loss of control. — As with any health procedure, some people feel anxiety over the unknown, or the lack of control they feel over the situation.
Fortunately, there are some tried and true methods to help with dental anxiety. Discussing your fear with your dentist is the first step, and don’t worry–they have encountered many patients with anxiety before, so it is nothing to be ashamed of. Many people find that going over their appointment and what will happen ahead of time can ease many fears regarding dental treatment. Talk over with your dentist a way you can signal when your anxiety is becoming too much and you need a break. Stopping for a drink of water or a quick break can go a long way in making your visit easier. This gives you a sense of control over the situation.
Sedation dentistry is also a great option for those with dental anxiety, especially if you have several dental treatments needed or wanted. Check out our website for more info.
The most common demographic to have dental anxiety is women in their 40’s. When in pain, those with anxiety will wait an average of 17 days to call their dentist for treatment, compared to those without, who only wait about 3 days. This can mean the difference between a small problem and a serious dental issue–not to mention the unneeded extra pain!
If you suffer from any type of dental anxiety, please discuss it with us prior to your appointment so we can do everything in our power to give you a positive experience!