How to Combat Dental Anxiety

How to Combat Dental Anxiety

Research has shown that many people delay or avoid going for dental treatment because of dental anxiety. This type of anxiety can be described as the fear or distress experienced in a dental setting. Dental anxiety is directly associated with triggers such as dental drills, needles and syringes, and the general dental environment.

Although dental anxiety is common at dental clinics, sometimes the phobia can prevent you from getting essential dental treatment, further making your life stressful. Fortunately, there are several ways to manage this phobia. This article talks about how to combat dental anxiety.

Symptoms of Dental Anxiety

You can know if you have dental anxiety through these symptoms:

  • Sweating
  • Racing heartbeat or shivers
  • Low blood pressure and possible fainting
  • Visible distress, including crying and other signs of fear
  • Withdrawal, using humor, or becoming aggressive to hide anxiety

How to Fight Dental Anxiety

There are many reasons why people experience dental anxiety, including traumatic dental experience, prior trauma to the head, abuse, generalized anxiety, trust issues, fear of loss of control, among others. Although this problem is more common in children, it can affect people of all ages. Fortunately, this phobia can be managed.

First of all, you need to let your dentist know that you are experiencing dental anxiety, even before they start operating on you. That way, you can have an open discussion with your dentist about what triggers your anxiety. Once your dentist understands why you are anxious, they will tailor a personalized treatment plan that will help you to relax. Here are some of the best ways to cope with dental anxiety:

  • Deep breathing
  • Meditation
  • Distraction, like listening to your favorite music or the use of screens
  • Guided imagery
  • Progressive muscle relaxation
  • Hypnosis

If the anxiety is severe, your dentist might refer you to a psychologist, where you will be taken through several short, targeted therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy. In other cases, you will be given analgesia (happy gas), conscious sedation (twilight sedation), anxiety-relieving drugs, or general anesthesia to help you relax.

You can also fight this type of anxiety by taking a friend or relative with you when you are going for your dental visit. The person will keep you busy and give you the necessary psychological support when you are being operated on. You should also ensure that you arrive at the dental clinic on time, but not too early. A long wait before you see the dentist can cause fear and anxiety.

If you have further questions about dental anxiety, get in touch with India Hook today.

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