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How To Overcome Dental Anxiety and Phobia?

How To Overcome Dental Anxiety and Phobia?

If going to a dental office puts you in sweats and scares you to death, then you’re not the only person to experience these symptoms. Research performed on 308 dental patients suggests that 19% of all the participants have shown symptoms of dental anxiety and phobia while getting their teeth healthier. However, the main question remains the same: how to overcome dental anxiety and phobia.

In this article, you’ll find the solutions to how to overcome dental anxiety and phobia.

Dental Anxiety and Phobia

What is Dental Anxiety and Phobia?

Dental anxiety is defined as the fear, stress, or anxious thoughts associated with visiting a dental office. However, the inability to see the dentist often harms your oral health, and even avoiding dental treatment may result in permanent tooth decay. 

Equipment of a dental office, including needles, drills, suctioning gear, or perhaps the setting itself, can trigger your dental anxiety. 

However, when you experience extreme dental anxiety that instigates irrational fear and stops you from attending your dental appointment, it may referred to as dental phobia or dentophobia. 

In addition, the prevalence of specific mental health disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and depression can increase your chances of developing dental anxiety. Moreover, a previous head and neck trauma makes you prone to suffer from dental anxiety. 

What are the Symptoms of Dental Anxiety and Phobia?

Before understanding how to overcome dental anxiety and phobia, you must look at the distressing symptoms caused by it. Common signs and symptoms of dental anxiety and phobia include:

  • Elevated heartbeats or palpitations
  • Low blood pressure
  • Excessive sweating 
  • Frequent spells of crying or panic attacks
  • Episodes of feeling faint
  • Using withdrawal, humor, or aggression to mask anxiety 

Additionally, people with various types of dental phobia avoid undergoing dental treatment no matter how simple or complex a dental procedure is. 

What are the Causes of Dental Anxiety and Phobia?

You may develop dental anxiety and phobia due to these numerous causes that consist of: 

  • A traumatic memory associated with dental care setting
  • History of previous verbal or physical abuse
  • Injury to the head or neck before
  • Mental health illnesses, including depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia
  • Personal beliefs depicting that getting an assessment of one’s mouth is like invading one’s privacy 
  • Inability to control emotions or trust issues
  • Obsessions over the cleanliness of dental equipment 
  • Fear of pins and needles
  • Fear of anesthesia not working or its side effects
  • Agoraphobia – phobia of being in situations that you can’t escape from
  • Claustrophobia – fear of being in enclosed spaces

How To Overcome Dental Anxiety and Phobia in 6 Simple Ways

How to overcome dental anxiety and phobia – the answer lies here!

If you keep delaying your dental appointments, you may have to bear adverse consequences. To prevent severe dental illnesses, these six solutions will help you tame your dental anxiety and phobia:

Practice Breathing Exercises

Breathing exercises help relax your mind and make you at peace. Doing deep breathing exercises tends to destress your anxieties while attending dental appointments. 

Start by closing your eyes, then slowly inhale air by your nose. Hold it for three to five and then slowly release it by your mouth. Keep repeating these deep breathing exercises until you feel calmer while going for a dental visit. 

Communicate With Your Dentist

Always tell your dentist about your difficulties while visiting a dental setting. Once your dentist knows about your dental anxiety, they will take the necessary steps to ease the process. Also, your dentist will elaborate on the whole dental procedure so you can understand what to expect from the dental appointment.

Moreover, your dentist will recommend specific techniques that will aid you in relaxing while receiving dental treatment. 

In addition, don’t hesitate to ask questions from your dentist regarding your dental appointment. It helps in coping with the anxious thoughts associated with the dental procedure. 

Consume Anti-anxiety Pills

If you have mild to moderate dental anxiety, your dentist might prescribe you a short-acting anti-anxiety pill to manage your anxiety levels prior to an appointment. You’ll have to take your dentist’s anxiety medication at least an hour before attending your dental appointment. 

Perform Imagery Exercises

Another way on how to overcome dental anxiety and phobia is by performing guided imagery exercises while sitting on the dental chair. Close your eyes, and think about a happy or funny memory. Incorporate your five senses with that memory. What did you see, hear, smell, taste, and touch while revisiting that memory? Stay with positive emotion until it relaxes your mind and helps you to carry on with the dental appointment. 

Undergo Local or General Anesthesia

Anesthesia helps to reduce pain associated with dental procedures and surgery. However, local anesthesia is mainly administered by the dentist itself, and it aids in numbing the incision site locally without putting you to sleep. 

General anesthesia is administered by an anesthesiologist and trained dentist to make you fall asleep or unconscious during an advanced dental procedure.

Both local and general anesthesia tame your increased stress levels associated with dental anxiety and phobia.

Bring a Social Support

Bring a relative or friend to calm your nerves during your dental visit. Ask your dentist to approve the company of your relative or friend in the examination room to reduce your dental phobia. Even if you can’t communicate with your loved ones while attending your dental appointment, their presence can aid you in feeling relaxed and safe. 

Where to Find the Reliable and Quality Dentist in Blairstown, NJ?

Getting dental anxiety and phobia while running for a dental appointment is quite common. Moreover, you now know how to overcome dental anxiety and phobia by following the tips mentioned above. 

However, it is necessary to find a dental office that understands your dental anxiety well and is ready to show professional support in this regard.

At Blairstown Smile Studio, we have a team of experienced dentists who are trained to use the latest modalities and equipment to make the dental procedure less stressful. Moreover, our dentists are passionate about listening to our anxieties related to dental treatment and recommend advice to ease your dental phobia.

Additionally, we offer dental insurance plans to our patients to maximize their oral health without making them worry about the bills to pay. 

Book an appointment online or call (908) 362-7008 to get reliable and secure general dentistry in Blairstown, NJ.