Dental Anxiety and Fear of Dentists in Anaheim Hills CA
According to general research, About 36% of people in the U.S. have a fear of dental treatment, with 12% having an extreme fear. If you or a loved one would like to talk about dental anxiety and ways to cope with it visit MySmile Dental Care today! For more information, contact us today or schedule an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 5568 E Santa Ana Canyon Rd, Anaheim Hills, CA 92807.
Table of Contents:
What is dental anxiety?
How common is dental anxiety?
What causes dental anxiety?
How can the dentist help with dental anxiety?
Dental anxiety has affected us all, to a greater or lesser degree, at some point in our lives, whether it be mild nerves and discomfort at the idea of having our mouths prodded or poked or full-blown fear or panic. Perhaps you’re scared that it might hurt or are concerned about what the dentist might find. Whatever the reason, if you are one of those people whose thoughts of sitting in the dentist’s chair bring you out in a cold sweat – you’re not alone. Tell your dentist your concerns and they will work with you to find the best coping mechanisms for you.
Dental anxiety describes feelings of distress, uneasiness of mind, or apprehension caused by thoughts of a visit to the dentist. It can also result in physical changes such as an increase in blood pressure. Some people choose to deal with the situation by staying away and not receiving regular dental care, which can have long-term detrimental oral, and general, health effects.
Research has shown that somewhere in the region of 36% of Americans have some level of dental anxiety, and a further 12% have extreme dental fear. Aside from the psychological impact, dental anxiety accounts for more than 20% of patients who do not see a dentist regularly, and up to 15% who avoid dental visits altogether. Dental anxiety can affect both children and adults and has a higher prevalence in females than in men.
Dental anxiety, as with other forms of anxiety, is often caused by the apprehension of a negative event that may or may not actually happen, but it can also be based on previous traumatic dental experiences. Other common causes of dental anxiety are:
• A fear of pain
• A fear of being out of control
• A history of other anxiety disorders
• Trust issues
• A fear of drilling
• A fear of needles
• Being uncomfortable with the invasion of personal space
• Fear of ineffective anesthesia
• Fear of anesthesia side effects.
Dental professionals take dentist-related anxiety very seriously and can offer several coping mechanisms to help ease patients’ fears and encourage them back into the dentist’s chair. They include:
• Communication. Don’t be shy or embarrassed to admit you have dental anxiety. Your dentist can explain the procedures step by step to reduce the ‘fear of the unknown’ and may also be able to suggest relaxation techniques.
• Breathing exercises are a great way to reduce stress in any situation, and the dentist’s office is no exception.
• Meditation and mindfulness involve focusing on what is immediately around you – sights, sounds, smells etc, diverting your mind from negative thoughts.
• Guided imagery – go to your ‘happy place’ and think about funny or positive memories that can help calm and relax your mind.
• Hypnosis. A hypnotherapist can use the power of suggestion to curb your anxiety.
• Distractions such as watching TV or perhaps listening to music through headphones.
• Anxiety-relieving medication can be prescribed by your dentist and needs to be taken at least one hour before your appointment.
• General anesthesia can be offered as a way of dealing with extreme anxiety, but dentists need specialised training in order to administer it, and some insurance plans don’t cover it, so check with your dental office and insurance provider to see if this could be an option for you.
We offer a wide variety of dental services and the specialized treatment of conditions such as Gum disease and more. Call us or request an appointment online. We serve patients from Anaheim Hills CA, Yorba Linda CA, Tustin CA, Villa Park CA, Irvine CA, Corona CA, Orange CA, and Santa Ana CA.