Do you feel fear, anxiety or stress when thinking about a dental setting? Dental anxiety can be associated with a variety of different triggers; needles, drills, or simply just the dental setting in general.
When scared of visiting the dentist, it can often result in avoiding or delaying necessary dental treatment.
Signs and Symptoms of Dental Anxiety
If you are suffering from dental anxiety, some signs and symptoms you may experience are as follows;
- Tachycardia (racing heartbeat) or palpitations
- Feeling Lightheaded (low blood pressure)
- Signs of panic/visible distress, crying
Most patients that experience dental anxiety, will routinely miss their dental appointments and may have a very difficult time underdoing dental treatments, regardless of its complexity.
Who can be Affected by Dental Anxiety?
People of all ages can experience dental anxiety, and it is very common. In often cases, children who have had bad dental experiences overcome their fear if the situation is well managed. However, adults who feel anxious in a dental setting often remain anxious throughout life.
Finding a dentist who knows how to handle dental anxiety, is sympathetic and trustworthy allows many patients to cope with their fears.
How to Manage Dental Anxiety?
There are many different approaches to handling patients with dental anxiety. It is very important to let your dentist know what you are feeling, and so they can work to develop a proper treatment plan for you.
Various coping techniques are;
- Deep Breathing/Meditation
- Distraction (Listen to music)
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation
In extreme cases, severe dental anxiety or phobia may require management with relative analgesia, anxiety-relieving mediation, conscious sedation or general anesthesia.
If you are experiencing dental anxiety, speak to your dentist to develop a tailored treatment plan just for you!
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