Say Good-bye To Dental Anxiety And Hello To A Sparkling Smile

By: Gen Wright

Have you ever purposely skipped your dentist appointment or found yourself nervous and stressed about your up-coming visit? You are not alone if you experience dental anxiety about upcoming treatment. Millions of people dread routine dental care and many others avoid visiting the dentist at all because their intense fear. Understanding the importance of regular dental care is important, however, as dental anxiety can contribute to other oral health problems, unless the problem is confronted and treated. What is the first step to overcoming your dental phobia? Try talking to your dentist for a clear understanding of your treatments and ways to ease your anxiety.

What Causes Dental Anxiety?

The causes of dental anxieties are numerous and include factors both related and unrelated to dentistry. Bad past experiences is a common trigger for fear. This not only includes physically painful dental visits and treatments, but also psychologically uncomfortable experiences, such as being humiliated by dental professionals, family, friends or others.

Some other reasons contributing to dental anxiety and dental phobia include:
* Fear of pain and needles
* Feelings of helplessness and loss of control
* Embarrassment or shame about the look and condition of the teeth
* Past bad experiences
* Observational or vicarious learning
* Post-traumatic stress
* Hopelessness that neglect on the condition has made it too late to do anything
* Adverse effects of medication or their ineffectiveness in providing relief from anxiety and pain

Some patient's fear of going to the dentist or getting dental procedures done is so severe that they may lose sleep at night and worry excessively about what might happen at the dentist's office. Dental anxiety is common and it is stated that up to 15 percent of Americans avoid seeing a dentist due to their fear, which can worsen the condition later on.

How to Overcome Your Anxiety

If you have a dental anxiety, you should always communicate with your dentist. Once your dentist is aware of your anxiety they can effectively treat your dental problems while calming your anxiety.

During a procedure, "talk" with your hands. It is often difficult to speak with your mouth while you are undergoing treatment, so talk to your dentist before your procedure on how you will communicate if a problem arises or you feel discomfort. A simple raise of the hand could signal discomfort, allowing your dentist to adjust the anesthesia appropriately.

Additionally, you can benefit from distracting yourself. Let your mind wander and try focusing on another thought or a feature that stands out in the office.

If you are hesitant to change the appearance of your smile because you are afraid or anxious about undergoing complicated procedures, talk to your dentist about ways to eliminate your anxiety. Contact your dentist in Pembroke Pines today to discuss how he can help calm your fears.

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Sean Hartmen writes for Dr. Osmani Diaz, leading Pembroke Pines cosmetic dentist. Offering dental care and orthodontia for patients of every age, this dentist in Pembroke Pines is qualified to handle any oral health need, including Invisalign, cosmetic dentistry, laser dentistry and dental implants.

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