What is Dental Anxiety?
According to the literature, more than 75 percent of adults have fear of visiting the dentist or undergoing a dental procedure, preventing them from getting the care they need. Some patients will do almost anything to avoid a dental visit. This can be extremely harmful to your oral health and result in serious problems, like gum disease, tooth decay, or tooth loss.
The old Yankee mantra: “if it doesn’t hurt, don’t fix it” fails nearly every time in dentistry, since pain only occurs in the teeth or gums when small problems are allowed to fester and progress unchecked. This is obviously the wrong approach if one desires to keep a long-lasting, healthy set of teeth.
Causes of Dental Anxiety
Dental anxiety, phobias, and fears can stem from a variety of factors including:
- Negative/traumatic experiences
- Previous trauma to the head and neck
- Fear of pain or needles
- Loss of control
- Generalized anxiety, depression, or PTSD
- Feeling vulnerable in a dental chair
- Trust issues
How to Conquer Your Dental Anxiety
If you have fear about visiting the dentist, we recommend that you follow these helpful steps:
- Build a relationship with your dentist
- Be honest and direct about your fears BEFORE putting yourself in a situation that may lead to embarrassment.
- Distract yourself with headphones and a soothing music channel or a podcast
- Become familiar with the tools used
- Bring a friend or family member to your appointment (Note: COVID-19 regulations must apply regardless of the condition)
- Try relaxation techniques like meditation
- When all else fails, prescription anxiety medication can be used to help you achieve your dental goals. All you need to do is ask, and our team is well-versed in handling these concerns.
Your dental health and physical and psychological comfort are our priority! That is why our entire Nashua dental team will go the extra mile to ensure that you feel safe and comfortable. If you have any concerns or fears, don’t hesitate to let us know so we can provide a personalized solution for you.