How to Address the issue of Dental Anxiety or Phobia
To keep our teeth and gums healthy, we should visit or consult a dentist periodically, preferably once in six months or even earlier if there is an emergency. These visits or consultation can help us to detect cavities, gingivitis, or other ailments and prevent them from aggravating. However, many of us suffer from dental anxieties and refuse to consult a dentist even for general dentistry let alone for major dental procedures? It is estimated that around 5 to 8 percent of people avoid visiting a dental clinic and resort to home remedies should they suffer from some dental ailment. The degree of anxiety or fear may vary from person to person but it is undoubtedly a cause for concern.
We get panicky when contemplating a visit to the dentist. Not consulting a dentist to undertake a thorough cleaning of our teeth during periodic check-ups can mean trouble such as compounding our existing dental issues and increasing the risk of getting new ones. However, the good news is that such anxiety is perfectly treatable provided the person follows the below-mentioned steps in right earnest.
# Find out the reason for our dental anxiety
To begin with, we have to accept the fact that we suffer from dental phobia. Ignoring the problem will not let it go away but rather reinforce it causing further trouble for our teeth and gums. The reasons for having dental phobia could be many such as:
● A bad experience in the past
● Fear of surgery
● Fear of finding an underlying cavity or some other issues.
● Worried about the current condition of our teeth or gums, which we fear the dentist may accuse of being negligent.
# Talk about our dental anxieties
After coming to terms with our dental phobia it is time to discuss it with others, family, friends, or colleagues. Discussion may reveal that we are not alone in having such anxiety thereby helping us in understanding and tackling the fear. Further, when we share the experiences of others in a similar situation, the fear may be subdued The next step is to talk to your general dentist who is gentle.
# Consult your dentist about the anxiety
The best person to guide us to manage our anxiety is our dentist. Any dentist would want his or her patient to be comfortable and confident while receiving the treatment. So, if the dentist understands that you suffer from dental phobia, he or she can make us feel much more comfortable while examining or administering the treatment. The steps the dentist may take include acknowledging our anxiety, providing a relaxed atmosphere and explaining the findings and course of treatment in a calm manner. Dentist may also talk about virtual experience. When dentist doesn’t rush us, we feel better while visiting our dentist. When we are more relaxed, we will be able to accept the situation better and face it. Sometimes, the dentist may prescribe an anti-anxiety medication to reduce anxieties or even refer to a therapist.
Dental anxiety is common and should be addressed to prevent the aggravation of any underlying dental issue. It is treatable and should not be the reason not to visit a general dentist. To address the problem the first step is to acknowledge its existence and then discuss it with others, most importantly, with our dentist specializing in general and/or cosmetic dentistry. To know more about dental phobia/anxiety and how to deal with it, you may contact your nearby dentist such as the one at Northcote Family Dental.