Dental anxiety and phobia are some of the contributory factors of avoiding dental care. Dental anxiety is sometimes associated with needles, dental supplies, and setting in general.
When dental anxiety becomes serious and results in extreme fear and complete avoidance to see a dentist, this would lead to dental phobia.
Here are some important things to know if you think you have dental anxiety and phobia:
Signs and Symptoms
Some patients would miss their dental appointments, and it would be difficult for them to have oral treatment whether the procedure is simple or complex. If you experience any of these symptoms, there’s a possibility that you have dental anxiety and phobia:
- Sweating on the way to the dental clinic
- Palpitations or increased heartbeat
- Decreased blood pressure or worse possible fainting
- Stressed, panicking, crying
- Withdrawal or throwing humorous statements to cover anxiety
How it would affect your health
Frequent avoidance of dental appointments would worsen dental disease and may result in emergency care to undergo complex treatment. This situation is called the “vicious cycle of oral anxiety.”
Regular check-ups keep your teeth healthy and thus prevent dental disease. It helps your dentist find early symptoms of dental disease. In this way, you may only need simple and less costly treatment.
Most dental problems come from poor hygiene and preventable. By missing out on a dental appointment, you are not only making the problem worse, but you’re also missing out on the perks of learning to take care of your oral health better.
Some lifestyles that trigger dental problems are similar to those health problems that lead to obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and even stroke. Thus paying attention to your oral and overall health is very important.
Who can be affected?
Dental anxiety and phobia can happen to anyone regardless of age. Children can overcome their fear if they would let go of their bad dental habits and start taking care of their oral health. Adults, however, would have a hard time letting go of their anxiety and would remain such throughout their lives.
Many dentists are patient and sympathetic. This can help a patient manage their fear. Thus, you may need to consider this kind of dentist to cope with your anxiety.
How to cope with dental anxiety and phobia
There are a lot of ways on how you can manage your oral anxiety or phobia. One way is to make your dentist know your situation. Talking with them how you feel would help him come up with a better treatment for you.
Here are some ways that would help you cope:
- Some distractions (listening to music, browsing the internet, etc.)
- Deep breathing
- Muscle relaxation
Dental anxiety is common among patients while dental phobia is a mental issue that needs to be carefully addressed. The most effective way in addressing these issues is by speaking them to your dentist.
If your mental control is one of your major stressors, participating in the discussion of your treatment with the dentist will ease the tension.
Your dentist is trained to make their patients comfortable and less anxious so they can provide you a better treatment plan. If you think your dentist is not like this, go see another dentist that will take your situation seriously.