The prospect of seeing that dentist chair can scare many people. If you are also among those who are scared to go to a dentist, then you are not alone. What you are suffering from is termed as dental anxiety and phobia.
Here, we will describe these concepts and present its symptoms. If you find that if these symptoms apply to you, then fear not, for we will also present the ways in which you can tackle these problems.
Dental Anxiety and Phobia
Dental anxiety refers to the feelings of stress when you have to visit a dentist for any reason. A dentist can subsequently lower your anxiety levels because modern dentistry is virtually painless due to the availability of technological aids.
Dental phobia is the fear of going to a dentist or having a dental procedure performed on you. A person suffering from these problems can neglect dental care altogether because of the stress involved. Around 20% of people have a fear of dental treatments and only visit the dentist when it is absolutely necessary.
There are few symptoms that are related to these issues such as:
- These people feel extremely tense when they have to visit a dentist.
- They get nervous while waiting for their turn and some patients can even run away from fixed appointments.
- They are saddened when visiting a dentist. In fact, some patients may even get ill before a dental exam.
Causes of Dental Anxiety
Dental anxiety is usually a result of past experiences. There are some bad experiences of the past that may instil this fear in people, such as:
- If a person has had a painful dental experience especially in their childhood, they develop a natural fear for the office of any dentist.
- Many people also believe that they feel helpless in a dentist’s chair and this creates fear in them.
- If someone has been embarrassed or has had a negative experience due to dental treatments, such as wearing braces in the past, then they can develop anxiety, which often stops them from going to a dentist.
The Cure for Dental Anxiety and Phobia
The cure is simple. Anxious and fearful patients need to share their problem directly with their dentist. A dentist is able to help on several levels.
They can ensure that the procedure is completely painless, for starters.
Distraction is also a great tool for decreasing phobias. Great dentists are able to help such patients and they often engage them in a distracting conversation while performing a dental procedure.
A dentist can also take the time to meet these patients before the treatment, letting them know that it is absolutely safe and will just take a few minutes.
These steps can decrease dental anxiety and phobias and allow dentists to easily perform procedures on fearful patients (letting patients see that the chair is not sitting in the middle of a room straight out of a Stephen King novel may also help).