Dental Phobia

Defeating the Fear That Follows You through Life

Dental phobia, dental anxietyThe fear of going to the dentist is something extremely common among children. Adults however are a little less willing to admit their fear for the dentist. Adult Dental Anxiety however is much more common than you think. An estimated 36% of adults have agreed to feel moderate fear at the time of a dental visit. 19% on the other hand, have cited extreme dental fear at the time of a visit.

Adult dental anxiety can actually be triggered simply by the thought of going to the dentist. While children may be convinced to visit the dentist, adult dental phobia is actually more harmful since the patient simply chooses to ignore dental health.

Symptoms of Adult Dental Anxiety

Symptoms that an adult may experience for dental anxiety include;

  • Trouble sleeping on the eve of the dental appointment
  • Feeling of nervousness
  • Escalation of anxiousness in the waiting room
  • Physical illness with bouts of crying
  • Intense uneasiness when objects are placed in mouth
  • Difficulty breathing during dental procedure

Causes of Dental Phobia

There may be many causes of adult dental phobia. Some of them may include;

Underlying issues

Mostly adult dental phobia stems from childhood. If the patient has had an unpleasant experience in the past, they may fear going to the dentist in the future to avoid its recurrence. Additionally, hearing stories of others’ bad dental experiences may also trigger anxiousness upon visit.

Fear of Injections and pain

The patient may be fearful of feeling pain while being fearful if pain is a normal reaction, there may be a little more to it in order to trigger anxiety the patient may feel that the anesthetic that was administered wouldn’t work. The mouth is a sensitive part and patients may in general be more fearful of injecting needles there.

Fear of Side Effects

Anesthesia may have some side effects that the patient may be avoiding. Nausea, dizziness, feeling faint and numbness can be unpleasant to experience.

Fear of loss of control

The situation in which dental care is administered can be intimidating for some who feel that they’ve lost control. Being in a dental chair with no idea of what is going on can trigger adult dental phobia in patients.

Embarrassment

The physical closeness of the dentist may also trigger anxiety. They may also start feeling conscious of the appearance of their mouth or teeth.

Relieving Dental Anxiety

There are many ways to relieve dental Anxiety.  Start by just visiting the dentist for a consultation.  No Treatment.  Just meet the dentist and the office staff and get a feel for the office. An open discussion with the dentist can also be helpful.  Be honest about your fears and your concerns.  You are not the first one.  We are used to seeing anxious patients and it is part of our job to make you feel more comfortable.  The anxious patient will get the idea that both the dentist and the patient are on the same plane and that the doctor will accommodate for the fears of the patient.

There are also medications you can take prior to your dental visit to make you feel more relaxed.  The use of Nitrous Oxide Sedation can also be very helpful.

Bring some headphones and listen to soothing music during your dental procedure. This will drown out any sounds that trigger fear. Additionally, the bright light sin the room can also cause anxiousness. In this case, it’s a good idea to bring along sunglasses to reduce the glare.

Above all, make sure you feel comfortable with the dentist and the office you have chosen.  This is a relationship that will help you stay healthier and smile brighter

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