The main reason cited for avoiding the dentist isn’t costs or lack of insurance. The main reason is dental anxiety. While dentists recommend a checkup every six months, not enough people are following this professional recommendation. As a result, dental anxiety is at the root (pun intended) of many dental problems like cavities, missing and loose teeth. In fact, a study conducted in London confirmed that those who suffer from dental anxiety are more likely to have poor dental health.
What is Dental Anxiety?
Dental anxiety is a fear of going to the dentist. About 15% of Americans experience some level of dental anxiety. While anxiety is considered less serious than a phobia, it is still serious enough to warrant intervention and treatment. Dental anxiety usually centers around fears relating to things like:
- Unfamiliar noises
- Social discomfort
- Antiseptic environment
- Dental condition (not wanting to know the truth)
- Being out of control
- Shame or ridicule
What are the Symptoms of Dental Anxiety?
The most obvious symptom of dental anxiety is dentist avoidance. This is the worst symptom because it results in a person not seeing a dentist at all. When years pass without professional dental treatment, a host of negative things usually occurs with teeth. This results in the worsening of dental health, more expensive treatments, and more serious dental issues.
Another sign of dental anxiety is developing physical signs during the appointment. The person might break out in a cold sweat, have a rapid heartbeat, or feel unable to catch their breath. They may feel develop nausea, become fidgety or jumpy, or even start to get blurry vision. All these symptoms of dental anxiety make the patient harder to treat from the dentist’s perspective. Worse, it makes the entire dental experience traumatic for the patient, which increases the likelihood that they will avoid the dentist in the future.
In short, dental anxiety is a vicious cycle that needs to be ended as soon as possible.
How to Overcome Dental Anxiety
Just as with any other fear, dental anxiety can be overcome. Here are some practical ways that a person can get over their fear of the dentist once and for all.
1. Choose a compassionate dentist.
Chianese Dental in Toms River, New Jersey, is committed to providing non-judgmental dental services. You won’t be criticized for the condition of your teeth. Instead, you’ll be treated and given the right advice to take care of your teeth in the future.
2. Make a dental appointment.
The best way to beat a fear is to face it. The more familiar you get with the dentist’s chair, the more comfortable you’ll become. Making – and keeping! – a dentist appointment as well as follow up appointments will help you acclimate yourself to the process of receiving dental treatments.
3. Ask for a consultation.
If you are still paralyzed with fear about going back to the dentist for the first time after a long period of abstinence, here’s a trick that might work. Ask for your first visit to just be a consultation. You won’t receive any dental treatment, so you’ll have nothing to fear. You can get your questions answered in a passive environment.
You don’t have to suffer from dental anxiety. At Chianese Dental, we understand your fears and are willing to work with you to show you just how comfortable dental treatment can be. Why not contact us today to get started?