How to Overcome Dental Anxiety Forever?
Maintaining dental hygiene is an absolute must and so is attending to dental issues that crop up time and again. It has been observed that some people feel nervous or afraid before or during their dental appointments This feeling of dental anxiety is triggered by an irrational fear of getting a new procedure done to their teeth or the impending pain that it may bring. Dental anxiety, or in more extreme situations, dental phobia, can have an impact on both your physical and mental well-being.
Anxiety with dentist appointments may be so strong that they cause people to make appointments only to cancel them, to put off getting a checkup altogether, or to fear going to the dentist for a long time.
What are the reasons for dental anxiety?
So where does dental anxiety originate from? After observing and talking to several patients over the years, we have arrived at the following reasons that usually trigger anxiety with dentist appointments.
Bad dental experiences – This is one of the primary reasons behind people avoiding dental appointments. For many people, dental anxiety develops in childhood as a result of a traumatic dental appointment or a wrongly done painful procedure. Particularly archaic dental practices that didn’t prioritize patient comfort
Overthinking – It’s normal to proceed with caution, especially when it comes to your health. However, patients usually tend to scrutinise procedures with heightened caution which may trigger anxiety. The fear of what their dentist could say and how much it might cost to fix is a common source of dental anxiety.
Misinformation – So many people read or hear something online or from a friend that makes them anxious or concerned. Sometimes this unverified information can be quite misleading and cause further dental anxiety.
Safety procedures – The recent outburst of Covid-19 has got everyone n their toes and quite wary of visiting a dentist fearing contracting the virus. Today, hospitals and healthcare centers worldwide practice greater caution than ever and it is safe to carry on with your appointments taking due precautions.
How to overcome dental anxiety?
People can manage their dental anxiety in a variety of ways. The dentist can work with you on specific triggers and create a treatment plan to avoid them.
Among some psychological coping mechanisms are:
- Breathing exercises
- Directed imagery
- Progressively relaxing the muscles
Apart from these psychological solutions, there are some specialized solutions that your dentist can provide to help you.
For some people, general anesthesia may be a viable option, but keep in mind that it won’t help you develop coping mechanisms for anxiety or become accustomed to visiting the dentist.
Oral Anxiety Relieving Medications
Sometimes, dentists or doctors will prescribe oral anxiety-relieving (anxiolytic) drugs to help anxious individuals relax (such as temazepam). These medications are given in a modest dosage one hour before the dentist session.
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