Dental anxiety is more common than most people think. In fact, a recent survey conducted by DentaVox found that 61 percent of the 18,000 participants suffered from dental fear. Out of those participants, four percent said that they have never even visited a dentist.
There are different levels of dental anxiety. Some patients may feel a little nervous when visiting a dentist but will typically get through the appointment just fine. Others may experience more extreme symptoms like muscle twitching, heavy sweating, rapid breathing, rapid heart rate, and a feeling of dread or panic.
No matter the reason behind your dental anxiety, know that there are ways to make visiting your Clermont dentist less stressful. Learn some of the reasons why people experience dental anxiety and how you can overcome these fears.
Common Dental Worries
Dental anxiety can have a number of causes with the most common being fear of pain. When dealing with sharp instruments and needles, it’s normal to feel a little hesitant. However, modern dentistry has become virtually painless. If you are nervous about pain during a procedure, tell your dentist and he can administer anesthesia. If you are afraid of needles, nitrous oxide (laughing gas) can help relax you.
Poor past experiences at the dentist can also cause anxiety going forward. Perhaps a dentist was insensitive or a hygienist was not thorough during a cleaning. While these types of incidents can happen, it should not deter you from future visits. It can be helpful to tell your dentist in Clermont about your past experiences so that similar experiences can be avoided.
Loss of control and feelings of helplessness are also common emotions when visiting a dentist. With fingers and tools in your mouth, it can be difficult to talk and you may feel stressed or anxious. When this happens, it is important to let your dentist know at the start of the appointment how you are feeling. Most dentists will recommend giving a sign when you want them to stop, such as raising your hand.
Another common contributor of dental anxiety is embarrassment about your oral health. This is especially true for patients who have not seen a dentist in many years and may have discolored or decayed teeth. It is important to remember that dentists have seen it all and will not judge you for the state of your teeth. Your dentist wants what is best for your smile and will help you achieve healthy teeth and gums.
The final most common cause of dental anxiety is cost. There is no denying that quality dental work can be expensive. This is especially true if you don’t have insurance or your insurance does not cover the entire bill. However, know that regular dental visits can help prevent more costly dental procedures in the future. If you are concerned about cost, speak with a dentist in Clermont, FL about your concerns and ask what payment options are available.
Tips to Ease Dental Anxiety
If you experience anxiety during dental visits, there are certain strategies you can try to ease your anxious feelings.
- Distract Yourself – It can be challenging to think of anything else while at the dentist but try your best to get your mind off of the procedure at hand. Wear headphones and listen to your favorite music or an audiobook. Hold a stress ball in your hand or play with a fidget spinner and focus on the device instead of what is going on in your mouth. Some dentists have televisions in exam rooms which you can watch during treatment.
- Practice Mindfulness – Relaxation takes practice, especially when you’re in a high-stress environment. Start by counting your breaths. Inhale and exhale slowly and focus on your breathing. Distract your mind by performing a body scan. Relax each muscle in your body, one body part at a time, from your head to your toes.
Schedule a Dental Visit
Do not let your anxiety stop you from receiving the dental care you need for healthy teeth and gums. Contact our friendly team of dental professionals today at Hancock Village Dental to learn how we can help you cope with your dental visits.