How to Overcome Dental anxiety

It’s not surprising to find many horror stories about visiting a dentist for a regular check-up or undergoing through a complicated dental procedure. The media portraying the dentists in the bad light is one possible suspect for this anxiety .Parents that would scare their kids about going to the dentist if they will not behave also creates fear to these kids as they grow old. 

The anxiety of going to a dentist is a serious problem that needs to be addressed right away. A few people who have dental anxiety are more likely to suffer from teeth and gum problems which can lead to other illnesses including heart disease, stroke and diabetes. 

It is estimated that between 5 to 8 per cent of American population fears Ontario dentist.  In addition, around 20% experiences enough anxiety that they will only see a dentist when needed. 

Another reason for the fear going to a dentist is the bad experience a few people had experienced from their dentists. Other patients who’d been through stressful conditions such as anxiety disorder, substance abuse, war trauma, victims of domestic violence and child abuse also have a hard time opening up with a dentist.  For them, lying in the dentist chair with a stranger doing things in their body makes them not in control of the situation, which is not what they want. Trusting a complete stranger getting close to them is something that is very hard for a few people under this condition to get used to. 

If the patient suffers from the above condition, the dentist should coordinate with a psychologist to help the patient first. Re-assuring the patient that everything is okay will not do much. The condition of the patient must be assessed first by a professional to lessen the anxiety. Once the condition is manageable, it’s the dentist responsibility to explain thoroughly to the patient that he is there to help him get dental care that he needs. 

For many who experiences anxiety during visit, try the following suggestions: 

  • Talk to your friends and family members who are not afraid of dentists. Ask them to come with your on your next visit.
  • Seek distraction while you are in lying in the dentist’s chair. This will let your mind wander somewhere else rather than paying attention to what goes in and out of your mouth.
  • Relax your body by taking a big breath, holding it, and letting it go slowly.This will slow down the heartbeat and lessen your nerves.
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