What is Dental Anxiety?

Visiting a doctor can be anxiety inducing for most people. The prospect of a medical examination, unfamiliar spaces and the possibility of receiving distressing news and treatment can contribute feelings of unease and anxiety. In this article we will build up on the common causes for dental anxieties and what steps can be taken to overcome this fear and apprehension.
Avoiding appropriate care can cause dental issues to be more complicated and harder to treat. It is highly advisable to schedule regular sittings with your doctor for maintaining optimal oral health.
Do not let dental fears hold you back from that overdue appointment! Read to find out options.

Causes of Dental Anxiety

Dental fears can be caused by multiple reasons. While mild symptoms can be catered by stress management techniques and other behavioral or cognitive adjustments, severe symptoms can be tackled by sedative options like happy gas and anesthesia.
Here are some causes of dental fear and anxiety.

  • Past traumatic dental experience
  • Generalized anxiety or mental health issues related to depression or post trauma
  • Head or neck injury
  • ¬†Failed dental procedures
  • Invasion of personal space
  • Loss of self-control
  • Phobia relating to injections and syringe
  • Sexual tensions relating to the gender of the doctor
  • Other anxiety associations like claustrophobia or agoraphobia

Here is a list of options that you can explore to manage your dental fears and anxiety; ultimately making your next dental visit a more comfortable experience.

  • Deep breathing
  • Distractions like music
  • Meditation and breathing exercise
  • Conscious muscle relaxation
  • Talking to the doctor prior and during appointment
  • Bringing a family member or friend
  • Hypnotherapy

While these are ways you can manage relatively less severe anxiety symptoms; below listed are medically administered relaxation methods that are used to ease pain and stress during dental treatments.
Nitrous Oxide:
Nitrous oxide, also known as happy gas, is a form of inhaling sedative used to combat mild anxiety. In this, the patient is awake but relaxed to the point that the sensation of pain is relatively felt less.

Oral Sedatives:
Oral anxiety relieving tablets are prescribed to help relax distressed patients. Tablets can be taken an hour before appointment to allow the medicine to take effect and help the patient feel calmer and relaxed.
This should only be taken under medical prescription with thorough examination of overall health of the patient.

Conscious Sedation:
This form of sedative technique involves numbing the affected area while allowing the patient to be awake and responsive during dental treatment.

General Anesthesia:
Guided under a professional anesthetic, this technique allows the patient to be fully asleep during an invasive dental procedure. The patient wakes up with no memory of the process.

Conclusive Remarks:
Having dental fears can hold you back from maintaining oral care and hygiene.
To manage symptoms, whether mild or severe, talk to our trusted doctors at Porter Smiles Dental for empathetic and professional guidance. Reach out to us at 21693 FM 1314 Ste 700, Porter, TX 77365 or call us on 281 519 7200.