A Guide On Overcoming Dental Anxiety
Scared of the dentist, but need treatment? You’re not alone. This guide on overcoming dental anxiety will healp you identify all key aspects that causes dental fear. Dentistry at The Grove understands that many people are petrified of visiting the dentist, but our goal is to help you overcome this fear. We know that dental anxiety can be debilitating and affect your oral health in a major way if not addressed.
If you’re like most others, a visit to the dentist causes some degree of anxiety. It may be distressing to have someone explore a personal area of your body, such as your mouth, gums, and teeth.
For others, however, this anxiety may last beyond being mildly disturbing. People who are anxious about visiting the dentist may be so afraid of what they would experience that they avoid it completely, resulting in minor issues becoming major ones.
When this happens, it might set off a chain reaction that necessitates more invasive dental procedures or other undesirable effects such as:
It is critical to understand the source of your anxiety.
Dentists are not out to hurt you, they are here to help! If you can get past the fear of pain and understand that a dentist’s goal is to improve your oral health, it will be easier for you to relax in the chair.
Many people find the experience of dental care uncomfortable. This is because we associate the dentist with pain and discomfort. However, advances in technology and procedures have made visits to the dentist much more comfortable for patients.
We also understand that some people may have a fear of needles. In this case, your dentist can provide you with numbing injections to make your treatment more comfortable. Dentists work hard to reduce the amount of pain and discomfort their patients experience during procedures, so please let them know if you are feeling any discomfort or anxiety.
Some people may be concerned that they will not receive enough anesthesia to keep them comfortable during the dental procedure. Dentists understand this concern and take great care to ensure that their patients are as comfortable as possible. Patients who have experienced dental anxiety in the past should not be afraid to discuss this with their dentist.
Symptoms of Dental Anxiety
Dental anxiety is a type of state in which a person experiences dread, worry, or discomfort when anticipating the need for dental treatment.
The typical indications of dental anxiety include:
- Upset stomach
- Hot flashes
- Palpitations and increased heart rate
- Low blood pressure
- Panic attacks
- Difficulty breathing
- The urge to cry at the thought of going to the dentist
- Difficulty sleeping before dental examinations
- Intense discomfort at the thought of going to the dentist
The more severe your anxiety, the harder it is to achieve positive oral health outcomes if you haven’t visited the dentist in many years.
Fortunately, there are a variety of strategies and tools available to assist you in managing your anxiety while visiting the dentist. The more instruments you utilize to help you prepare for or endure your next dental checkup, the better prepared you will be to manage your worry effectively.
Causes of Dental Anxiety
Anxiety, fear, phobias: While they may be all in your head, events, feelings or experiences can cause them, whether they relate to going to the dentist or not.
As you are unique, you come to the dentist with your individual history. This history shapes your perceptions and fears, and it can profoundly impact your experience regardless of the dentist. The more you understand what shapes your anxiety and fears take, the better you will be able to address them.
Causes of dental anxiety include:
1- Negative experiences:
Consider events from the past while exploring dental anxiety. It doesn’t have to be during a dentist’s appointment to induce dread. It might be watching a scary movie when you were younger or seeing another film with a frightening dentist. This perspective may alter your perception and cause significant anxiety before getting treatment at the dentist.
2- Feelings of loss of control:
Some patients report that they are unable to relinquish control while visiting the dentist’s office. You may not be able to manage your emotions, for example, and refuse to allow the dentist to take over.
3- Fear of anesthetics and the side effects they cause:
Local anesthetics, which are also known as nerve blocks, can have a variety of undesirable side effects. Dizziness, nausea, drowsiness, and feeling faint are all sensations that some individuals experience when taking local anesthetics. Others have swelling of the tongue; discomfort in the ears, neck, joints, or muscles; excessive drooling
4- Trust issues:
Most individuals never spend any time with their dentist. It’s difficult to establish a trusting connection with someone you’ve just met. You could make things worse if you move often or have had negative experiences with dentists in the past.
5- Other phobias or conditions:
Fear of the dentist may be a symptom of another fear. Claustrophobia, agoraphobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, or any other phobia or condition could be involved. It’s conceivable that any problem with your teeth or mouth that makes you feel uncomfortable when visiting the dentist is to blame.
6- Fear of injections:
Even greater is the fear the local anesthetic injections won’t work or won’t work right away. If this happens, patients fear they will feel the full force of the pain once the procedure begins.
7- Fear of what dental sounds indicate
Having a dental exam or procedure done involves a lot of sounds. Some of these, like the sound of a drill, cause anxiety in fear in some people.
8- The discomfort of having your personal space invaded
This is a topic about which many people are unaware, even after experiencing it. Some individuals have difficulties with personal space and find that others who are not in their approved groups invade their space.
Dental Anxiety Tips
Positive experiences can help you overcome or at least manage your dental anxiety so that you can achieve the oral health care you need for the sake of your teeth and general health.
1- Take Better Care of Your Oral Health
The first step in reducing dental anxiety is at home. You may have neglected oral health problems as a result of your lack of care. While you need to address those issues, increasing the frequency of your at-home dental hygiene will help you feel more comfortable visiting the dentist’s office. Things you can do include the following:
- Avoiding using tobacco
- Eating a healthy diet
- Cutting out sugary foods and drinks
- Eating more tooth-building proteins and fewer carbs
- Brushing your teeth at least twice daily using a fluoride-based toothpaste
- Flossing daily
- Replacing your toothbrush every three months
Improving your dental visit starts with boosting your confidence before you enter the dentist’s office.
2- Talk to the Dentist
The Canadian Dental Association urges patients with dental anxiety to speak with their dentist. That means sharing your concerns and worries, as well as the therapy plan recommended for you.
3- Learn to Trust the Dentist
Read reviews online from other dental patients. Their independent feedback helps you establish some trust in your dentist and how they have helped others with their dental care.
4- Ask the Dentist About Tools and Resources Available to Maximize Your Comfort
Dentists now have a variety of anxiety treatment choices accessible to assist patients in feeling at ease. These include things like:
- On-demand video services
- Noise-canceling headphones
- Warm blankets
- Relaxing music — in some cases, allowing patients to choose the music
As you can see, there are plenty of tools available to help reduce anxiety. Choose a dentist in Burlington who offers or allows you to bring in an anxiety-curbing tool of your choice.
Grove Dentistry Tips for Easing Dental Anxiety
Our team at Dentistry at The Grove aims to make you feel welcome and safe throughout your visit. We want you to feel at ease and comfortable while receiving a regular cleaning or undergoing a more extensive dental treatment.
Patients who are stressed about anxiety should contact us to set up an appointment to talk about their concerns and how we can assist them. This visit might give you a stress-free opportunity to discuss the causes of dental anxiety, as well as the tools we have available to alleviate them.
This kind of visit allows us to learn more about you and your situation, allowing you to take the first steps toward having a better relationship with us. We can also talk about whether or not dental sedation would be an option for you so that you may receive the care you require to alleviate anxiety.
How to Cope With Dental Anxiety
Dental anxiety is a serious problem, and it’s difficult to deal with. These are some strategies that can help you cope with anxiety better so you can complete necessary dental work.
Self-Remedies for Dental Anxiety
You can implement one or more coping strategies for dental anxiety. Try these, for example.
- Practice meditation and mindfulness
Meditation is a tried-and-true technique for coping with general anxiety. You may use it to combat various sorts of anxiety, such as the type you might experience before going to the dentist. Start by doing deep breathing exercises, and return to them whenever you need them most.
- Distract yourself from what is going on
With your mobile phone or tablet device, you have access to the entire world. Bring some diversions, such as streaming movies, audiobooks, or even music to listen to, while the dentist works on your teeth.
- Consider anxiety medication
Another alternative to consider if you’re having trouble coping with your dental anxiety is asking your doctor if a short-term anti-anxiety prescription might assist you in dealing with the demands of your dental treatment. To avoid potential drug interactions, you’ll need to talk about this with your dentist as well.
- Practice visualization techniques
Visualize yourself in a different place that relaxes you. Visualizing yourself somewhere beautiful, whether it’s on the beach or sitting on your front porch swing, can help you relax.
How Dentistry at The Grove Can Help You Manage Your Dental Anxiety
Dentistry at The Grove offers a variety of tools and services designed to ease anxiety and help you feel more comfortable throughout your visit. Not only are we willing to discuss your anxiety and work out a series of hand signals you can use to help ease your concerns, but we also offer sedation techniques to help ease your fears about treatment. Sedation dentistry isn’t for everyone. We’ll assist you to determine if any of our sedation techniques is a good fit for you.
Discuss your dental anxiety concerns with us here at dentists in Burlington, and allow us to work with you to develop a treatment plan to help to put your fears to rest while allowing you to receive the dental care and treatment you need.