Scaling and root planing is a procedure done in order to combat gum disease. It focuses on cleaning the gums out so that they are rid of any bacterial growth, thus eliminating disease and promoting good oral health.The procedure does involve a few steps, with the first being the scaling portion. Scaling is the act…
Reasons for Dental Anxiety and Tips for Dealing With It
People with dental anxiety shiver at the mere thought of going to the dentist. Not being fond of the dentist does not necessarily mean you have a phobia, but coming up with all sorts of excuses to avoid going to the clinic probably does.
Dental anxiety often leads to people ignoring dental problems until they cause so much pain and discomfort, they can no longer be ignored. The pain could have been avoided if they faced their fears and received the treatment that they needed earlier.
Dealing with dental anxiety
Dental anxiety can be caused by a variety of things, like a traumatic experience that occurred early during childhood, being ashamed of the way one's teeth look, or a painful past treatment. Regardless of the cause, getting past it is essential to protect one's oral health. Patients who consistently miss dental appointments often pay a heavy price for it in the future. It is estimated that about 70% of people in the U.S. deal with some form of dental phobia. Let us take a look at common causes of dental anxiety and how a dentist might go about addressing them.
1. Loss of control
Some people hate going to the dentist due to the lack of control that they feel in the dental chair. Having a dentist and their assistants crowding and probing their mouth overwhelms them with negative feelings. Dentists can help deal with this fear by coming up with a safe word or motion that the patient can use as a signal when they feel overwhelmed.
2. Fear of pain
Some people, especially those with low pain tolerance, avoid going to the dentist due to a fear of having a painful experience at the dentist. It is an unfounded fear because the local anesthetics used for dental treatments are extremely effective. Patients typically only feel pressure and vibrations from the dentist working on teeth when a local anesthetic has been administered.
Some patients are reluctant to go to the dentist because of the poor condition of their teeth. They feel that they will be judged based on it. It is a common feeling that people with unhealthy teeth often have, even during social interactions.
Dentists help patients get past this fear by letting them know that they are not being judged by their teeth. Many dentists gain satisfaction from transforming their patient’s smile into a healthy one.
4. Negative past experience
Some patients develop dental phobias due to traumatic experiences that they have had in the past. It might also be caused by complications that developed after treatment. Such patients should talk to their dentist about their fears and ways to cope with them. They should also consider dental sedatives, like nitrous oxide (laughing gas), that can keep them relaxed during treatment.
Take control of your oral health
Overcoming your dental anxiety allows you to overcome your fears and get dental treatments when you need them. The first step is acknowledging your fears and talking to a dentist about it. The dentist will educate you about your options, and they might recommend bringing a family member or friend for moral support. Call or visit our Gilbert clinic to start the process of overcoming dental phobia, and take control of your oral health.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Dental Anxiety in Gilbert, AZ.
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