On dental anxiety and how to overcome it

Before you can attempt to conquer your dental anxiety, you must first identify and comprehend what exactly it is.

What is Dental anxiety?

Dental anxiety is panic, phobia, or distress linked with a dental set-up. Dread of going to the dentist might lead to deferring or evading orthodontic care. Dental anxiety can be triggered by things like injections, drills, or the dental environment in general.

Dental anxiety | Signs and symptoms

People who have dental anxiety may encounter the following symptoms:

  • Perspiration or palpitations
  • Speeding heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Evident distress, sobbing or symptoms of fright
  • Low blood pressure and the risk of collapsing (syncope)

Some anxious people regularly miss or avoid dental appointments; they may find it difficult to endure dental treatments - be it a basic or complicated one.

How can dental anxiety affect your oral health?

Dental anxiety has primarily been linked to poor dental health. Compared to non-anxious counterparts, stressed patients are seen to have worse oral health in decaying, absent, and filled teeth. Poor oral health also has a mighty impact on people's quality of life.

How to manage dental anxiety and overcome it?

Use a weighted blanket

A weighted blanket can help alleviate your anxiety levels at the dental clinic by exerting pressure on the body.

Proprioceptive input, or pressure on the muscles and joints, is a sort of sensory relaxing that produces the "hugging" effect. Proprioceptive stimulation transmits messages to the brain that induce serotonin, a chemical that helps individuals feel good. The production of natural melatonin in the brain is triggered by increased serotonin, providing an even greater sense of calm. However, you'll need to bring your own weighted blanket to the dental appointment.

Distraction

Music, video, and touch are examples of distraction tactics that have been shown to reduce patient anxiety and, consequently, pain perception. The use of music and video distraction strategies have even been shown to alleviate dental anxiety in a significant way, statistically.

Make use of relaxing methods

Take some time before your appointment to get in the correct frame of mind. Stretching, meditation, and deep, controlled breathing are beneficial to many people.

If you have severe anxiety, speak with your dentist about what types of sedation procedures could be acceptable to help you relax even further. Some of the possible alternatives are discussed in the coming points.

Relative analgesia (happy gas)

Nitrous oxide, widely known as happy gas, is a transparent, odourless gas that can produce short and reversible relaxation and comfort. Happy gas is a safe and reliable solution to overcome fear for patients who require more stress-busting measures in a dental clinic than just a tranquil setting and local anaesthesia.

Anxiety relieving medication (oral anxiolytic tablets)

Paediatric dentists and specialists may administer anxiety-relieving (anxiolytic) drugs (such as temazepam) to ease out stressed patients. An hour before the dentist session, a single short-acting, low dose is normally given.

Conscious sedation

Conscious sedation is a blend of certain meds that help you calm (sedatives) and fight dental phobia through inhibiting pain during a dental visit or treatment. You'll most likely stay conscious, but you won't be able to converse.

Finally, today's dentist clinics offer pleasant environments to keep your smile sparkling and healthy- without causing any distress. Use our dentist anxiety strategies to help you get through your next dental appointment as a safety net. In exchange, you'll get a lovely, healthy grin.

Scared of the dentist but need treatment? The right dentist can make a huge difference in your life. You'll feel more at ease and secure in your treatment. Always look for an oral surgeon who has:

  • An attentive and courteous staff
  • Patients have given rave feedback
  • Answers all inquiries in a simplified way
  • A calm and comforting operating environment
  • Offers Dental treatment and procedures that are both personalised and high-tech

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