Fear of the dentist is common, but when it keeps you from good oral health, it becomes a problem. If you want to help overcoming dental anxiety, keep reading.
Coast Family Dental wants every person to have great teeth. Whether you’ve had a bad experience or have generalised anxiety, we can help overcome your dental phobia so you can enjoy the benefits of visiting the dentist.
Types of Dental Anxiety
People experience dental anxiety for several reasons, but the following are the most common:
- Fear of pain: Dental procedures are often uncomfortable or even painful, so when a person fears pain in general, they might see that as a reason to avoid dental practices.
- Fear of injection: Many people fear needles and thus avoid shots or drawing blood. The fear can grow even worse when it involves a sensitive area of the body, like the mouth. The patient might also worry the anesthesia won’t work or involve complications.
- Personal space or embarrassment: No one likes having a person dig around in their mouths. The desire to avoid such an invasion of personal space can prevent a person from seeking dental help. If a person has poor oral health, they may also feel embarrassed or want to avoid a lecture from the dentist.
- Comorbidity: Sometimes dental anxiety is a symptom of a larger psychological condition such as post-traumatic stress disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, schizophrenia, or depression.
Signs of Dental Anxiety
The symptoms of dental anxiety strongly correlate with other anxiety symptoms. You might suffer from the condition if you notice the following signs:
- Sweating, no matter the temperature
- An increased or irregular heartbeat
- A drop in blood pressure or fainting
- Signs of panic or visible distress, such as crying or shaking.
- Using humour to mask anxiety or withdrawing from friends and family
- Avoiding scheduling dental appointments, missing scheduled appointments, or consistently rescheduling established appointments.
Reasons to Overcome Dental Anxiety
Avoiding dental care can have a negative effect on your life and well-being. The following are excellent reasons for overcoming dental anxiety:
- Increased oral health: Good oral hygiene is important for fully enjoying all life has to offer. Not only can plaque and cavities keep you from enjoying certain foods, but they’re also often painful and embarrassing. When you visit a dentist, you can spend more time living and less time worrying.
- Better overall health: Doctors have established a strong connection between oral health and overall health. Plaque buildup increases your risk of heart disease and other conditions. When you overcome your anxiety, you can visit the dentist and better maintain your overall health.
The following methods are effective in dealing with anxiety:
- Deep breathing: Breathing techniques frequently help with all forms of anxiety.
- Meditation: Focusing on a single thought or word can help you deal with anxiety.
- Distraction: The dentist can turn on the TV or talk about something you’re interested in to distract you.
- Chemicals: Anesthesia or laughing gas can help calm your anxiety.
If you’re overcoming dental anxiety, we can help with compassionate dental services. Call Coast Family Dental at (07) 5437 9000 to book an appointment.