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Overcoming Dental Anxiety With Help From Your Dentist

08.05.2011 · Posted in Health Articles

Do you feel anxious before every dentist appointment? Do you ever feel yourself getting sick to your stomach or sweaty palms prior to sitting in the dentist chair? Dental anxiety can be one of the biggest challenges that keep people from receiving appropriated dental health care and some people, the mere thought can bring fear so intense that they avoid getting needed dental care at all. Though anxiety is very common, it can be easily managed and is even preventable. rnrnWhat is Dental Anxiety? rnrnDental anxiety is simply a fear of visiting the dentist for dental care. In mild forms, the affected person usually experiences anxiety and hesitation in facing dental treatment. Moderate dental anxiety may cause panic attacks and extreme cases may result in paralyzing fear that can cause serious trauma. rnrnAside from the short term effects of dental anxiety, it can also have significant effects on a person’s entire life. People who suffer from dental anxiety usually spend a lot of time thinking and stressing about their teeth and dental care. Some cases of the phobia can also be a related symptom of certain psychiatric conditions, such as general anxiety and depression. Dental fear may stem from:rnrn* Prior painful or negative experiencesrn* Feeling helpless or out of control in a dental office situationrn* Feeling embarrassed about neglecting your teethrn* Fear of being ridiculed about neglecting your teethrnDental Anxiety Affects Overall HealthrnrnSkipping regular dental visits leave your teeth vulnerable to tooth decay and other dental problems. As a result, your smile’s appearance may suffer and self-confidence is compromised, which can limit your social interactions. It is one thing when anxiety affects your relationships, but it is another thing altogether when it begins to impact your physical well-being. The health consequences of dental anxiety are very real and can be very serious. In fact, if you put off regular dental visits, your teeth and gums can become chronically infected, which can affect your ability to chew and digest properly, your speech patterns and lead to heart disease. rnrnHow to Overcome Dental AnxietyrnrnFor people who have dental anxiety, the following strategies can help calm your fears:rnrn* Communicate with your dentist. Many patients don’t feel comfortable talking with their dentists on a one-on-one level, but remember, your dentist is the expert. If you feel anxious about something, come right out and talk about it. rnrn* “Talk” with your hands. It can be difficult to speak when you have a mouth full of dental tools, so talk with your dentist before your procedure about how you will communicate should you experience any discomfort or pain. rn* Take a break if you need it. Some patients may need breaks during dental procedures, when anxiety builds up or they start to feel claustrophobic. rnrnDon’t be afraid to ask questions before a procedure and make sure that your dentist does everything he or she can to make you feel comfortable during your visit. Contact your dentist in Roswell, GA to schedule your next dental appointment because maintaining regular dental care is vital to your oral and overall health.

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