Does the impending visit to the dentist give you more than just a headache? You are not alone!
Dental anxiety affects millions of people. In fact, it’s estimated that most missed appointments are precisely due to anxiety related to the dentist’s clinic.
Funny enough, even medics themselves develop dental anxiety, so you are perfectly normal if you discover a strong aversion to your beloved dentist.
However, to mitigate something, you need to know what causes it. Thus, we will briefly describe some common triggers of your anxiety, and finally how to handle them.
Anxiety is defined as the unsettling feeling someone gets in anticipation of a future event. Thus, fear is a great contributor to your dental anxiety.
Fear of pain is the most common form of fear that visits most patients. This may be warranted, especially if earlier dental procedures caused an intense pain during and after the procedure.
This alone serves to cause aversion, as our brains are wired to store unpleasant events in order to save us from similar events in the future. The similar event may be your beloved dentist.
Fear of needles is the next set of fears that plague dental patients. Having a needle probe your mouth (especially gums) isn’t something to look forward to.
Unless you are used to needles, it’s perfectly normal to want nothing with your dentist.
Embarrassment is a major cause of dental anxiety. More so, the close proximity of your dentist to your mouth – giving them a full view of your teeth and their health (or lack thereof).
Most people believe that dental problems stem from poor hygiene and while it’s true, it’s not always the case. Your dentist exists to help solve these problems regardless of their cause.
Another cause of worry is the possibility of bad breath. This affects everyone so most people will opt to chew gum to mitigate this.
Some dentists may offer a cup of water to alleviate your concern that you may put them off with your breath.
Another cause of concern is the lack of control the patient has during the procedure. Considering that they are fully aware but can’t see what’s going on, they feel a bit anxious during the procedure.
When the anxiety starts creeping in, sometimes visualization may be your only way out. Deep breathing techniques will help calm the storm brewing in your system.
Practice deep breathing at the same time every day for ten to fifteen minutes, and you’ll notice yourself feeling much calmer.
While at it, visualize yourself going through the procedure and getting through it safely without terror.
Another thing would be to call your dentist and ask questions about the procedure. It would help a bit if you knew beforehand what to expect.
Survive the Dentist
As mentioned, it’s best to talk to your dentist about your concerns. Your dentist will be kind enough to alleviate your fears about your visit, and will be kind enough to fill you in with details during the procedure.
This access to information will go a great way in dealing with your fear of the future event – a dental exam.Posted on