Does a visit to your dentist leave you jittery or afraid? Dental anxiety is a relatively common phenomenon experienced by people of all ages. It is a term used to describe fear, anxiety, or stress associated with dental visits. When dental anxiety becomes extreme, it is termed dental phobia. The major problem with dental anxiety and phobia is the avoidance of dental visits by many patients. When patients don’t go for their dental appointments, dental conditions are not quickly diagnosed and may result in worsened conditions that would have been otherwise easily treated or managed with a routine appointment. Also if you are looking for anxiety dentist in Des Plaines IL, we can help you.
Causes of Dental Anxiety
Dental anxiety may have varying causes in different people. Some of the commonly identified causes of dental anxiety include:
- A history of traumatic dental procedures
- past accident or trauma to head or neck
- Fear of pins and needles
- Generalized anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder
- General trust issues
- The fear of letting go and losing control
- The fear of pain
If you have dental anxiety, you should know that you are not alone. Fortunately, there are also different ways you can work with your dentist to manage anxiety. The tips listed below may be of help.
Open Up to Your Dentist
If you have symptoms of dental anxiety, the first step to treatment is to talk to your dentist about it. Your dentist probably sees many patients with dental anxiety daily and is equipped with effective management techniques to reduce your anxiety. Together, you can work on coping strategies, safe signals and agree on the use of medication if there is a need. You shouldn’t be afraid to ask your dentist questions and tell them when uncomfortable with a procedure.
Practice Breathing Exercises
You can reduce anxiety and prepare yourself for your dental appointment by practicing breathing techniques while waiting to see your dentist. A simple breathing exercise would be to count your breaths. You can start by inhaling slowly while counting in your mind and exhaling for the same number of counts. You can do this repeatedly until you feel some form of relief.
Another way to manage dental anxiety is by deliberately distracting yourself from the thoughts of the procedure you are about to go in for. You can do this by wearing headphones and listening to your favorite playlist. You can also choose to get lost in an imaginary world where everything is fine, and you don’t need dental procedures. Stress balls have also proven helpful in managing dental anxiety, and you may want to consider getting one.
If you have severe anxiety, your dentist may recommend some medications to help you relax. A commonly prescribed medication for people with dental anxiety is oral anti-anxiety medicine. This medication is short-term, only lasting for the period of the procedure.
Your dentist may also recommend the use of laughing gas as analgesia during your procedure. By inhaling this gas, you will feel relaxed, even though you are still conscious.
Your dentist may also choose to put you under some form of sedative to help you relax and not feel pain. This sedation could leave you conscious but unable to feel pain, or it could be general anesthesia that leaves you completely unconscious, depending on the procedure to be carried out.
Do you have dental anxiety? You can book a consultation session with a dentist at Roseroot Dental on the best anxiety management techniques to help you relax