What Is Dental Anxiety and Dental Phobia?
Dental Anxiety is a condition where a person experiences fear, anxiety or stress associated with a dental setting. It is pretty common and very easily managed. When dental anxiety is severe and causes irrational fear and avoiding going to the dentist, it can be classified as a Dental Phobia. Dental Phobia is less common, and your dentist might need to work with your doctor and other health professionals to manage it.
Causes Of Dental Anxiety or Dental Phobia
Dental anxiety can be caused by several things:
- A traumatic dental experience or other healthcare experience;
- Previous trauma to the head and neck;
- Other traumatic experiences, including abuse;
- Generalized anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder;
- Anxiety associated with other conditions such as agoraphobia, claustrophobia or obsessive-compulsive disorder where there is an obsession around cleanliness.
- Fear of loss of control; or
- Trust issues.
These are just a few of the most common causes of Dental Anxiety and Dental Phobias but regardless of the cause, being scared to visit the dentist can result in delaying or avoiding dental treatment Luckily, there are a few different things you can do that can help you manage it.
The Dangers of Avoiding the Dentist
Regular dental checkups, cleanings, and scans of the teeth can help prevent dental diseases by allowing the dentist find potential problems early, when simpler and less invasive treatments are needed.
Most dental disease is lifestyle-related and preventable. By avoiding the dentist, not only are you more likely to need more complex treatments when you do finally visit, but you are also missing out on learning how to better care for your oral health at home.
If anxiety prevents you from going to the dentist, there are things that can help you cope. Make sure to talk to your dentist about which options are right for you. You may need to speak to a psychologist or counsellor to help you cope with your anxiety.
What You Can Do
The lifestyle factors that lead to dental disease are very similar to those that lead to diabetes, obesity, heart disease, stroke and some cancers (regularly consuming sugary food and drinks, smoking and regularly drinking alcohol). Thus, taking care of your oral and general health and remembering to brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day are very important.
Avoiding the dentist can result in dental disease getting worse, a greater need for emergency care or more complex treatment. It can also feed the underlying problem of dental anxiety. At G2 Anesthesia Services, we use dental anesthesia to help our patients relax while the dentist works on their smiles. You can learn more about our anesthesia services here.
Sedation Dentistry May Be Right for You
Sedation dentistry covers a variety of techniques, using a combination of medications and gases to allow patients to be more relaxed in the dental chair.
Our Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and Anesthesiologists provide safe, effective, and affordable anesthesia care to those who require intravenous and general anesthesia or to those who prohibitively fear dental and oral surgery procedures.
Want to learn more? Send us a message today to speak with one of our anesthesia specialists. We’d love to help you prepare for your next dental visit!