The thought of visiting the dentist can stir up feelings of unease and nervousness. But what if we tell you that you are not alone?
Most people feel uneasy at the thought of visiting the dentist, however for some, it can be quite overwhelming; to the point they may end up avoiding their dental appointments altogether. This is where dental anxiety comes in!
If this can bring any comfort, then dental anxiety is fairly a common issue; one that affects people of all ages. And in this blog post, we’re going to discuss dental anxiety, its symptoms, and causes. It does not matter whether you’re someone who experiences dental anxiety or simply curious to learn about it, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s get started!
What is Dental Anxiety?
By definition, dental anxiety is a feeling of fear or stress associated with dental sittings. The level of fear can range from mild to severe. However, it is pertinent to mention that it is different from dental phobia; which is having an irrational fear of dental treatments. If dental phobia is left untreated, it can result in serious consequences in terms of both oral and overall health.
This brings us to our next point as to how to identify dental anxiety.
Symptoms of Dental Anxiety
There is a wide range of symptoms that people with dental anxiety may experience. Below mentioned are some of the most common ones,
- Avoiding dental appointments: People with dental anxiety often tend to avoid their dental appointments because of their ever-so-mounting fear of dental procedures.
- Difficulty sleeping before the appointment: Dental anxiety can cause insomnia or difficulty sleeping, especially the night before the dental appointment.
- Sweating or trembling: Dental anxiety may trigger shivering, shaking or sweating in some people.
- Rapid heartbeat: An increased heart rate leading to palpitations is another major symptom of dental anxiety.
- Feeling sick or dizzy: People with dental anxiety may feel nauseous, fainting sensations, knotted stomach, shortness of breath or a tight throat.
- Emotional distress: In severe cases, dental anxiety can cause significant emotional distress. This can result in reactions like crying or panic attacks.
Causes of Dental Anxiety
There is not one but several factors contributing to dental anxiety, including:
- Past Experiences: Any negative experiences during previous dental visits can leave lasting impressions, eventually leading to dental anxiety. Such experiences include painful procedures, poor treatment, and perceived lack of empathy from the dentist.
- Fear of Pain: Pain is a common fear when it comes to dental procedures. It’s natural to feel anxious when one is aware that undergoing a dental procedure will bring some degree of pain.
- Sensory Overload: For many patients, the mere sight, sound of the dental tools, or even the smell of the dental office can be enough to trigger spells of anxiety.
- Trauma: Individuals having a history of trauma, such as assault or abuse, may already have levels of anxiety, which can be heightened by dental procedures.
Remember, the key takeaway here is that it is absolutely okay to feel a little nervous about visiting a dentist and that there is always a solution to manage it.
We understand how navigating dental anxiety can still be overwhelming, so in case of any questions, you have the opportunity to connect with our doctors directly. We encourage you to take advantage of our free online consultation with no strings attached.
Our doctors will be happy to answer any questions you may have and provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions about your dental treatment.