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Managing Dental Anxiety and Phobia in Patients

May 01, 2020
Good oral health is essential for your overall health and wellness. Scheduling regular dental visits can protect your oral health and diagnose dental problems before they become worse.

Good oral health is essential for your overall health and wellness. Scheduling regular dental visits can protect your oral health and diagnose dental problems before they become worse. However, some people avoid visiting dentists due to dental anxiety and phobia. Dental anxiety in people is common and can affect any person regardless of age. 

However, avoiding dental visits can make your dental problems worse, leading to the need for emergency care. Poor oral health can also contribute to health problems, such as diabetes, stroke, cancer, and heart disease. So try to find a compassionate and caring dentist who helps reduce your fear of visiting a dentist and provide you with the required treatment.
 

Causes of Dental Anxiety and Phobia

These factors can cause dental anxiety in people:

  • Helplessness and loss of control

  • A traumatic dental or healthcare experience

  • Trust issues

  • Fear of injections and pain during dental procedures

  • Previous trauma to the neck and head

  • Fear of drilling tools

  • General depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder

  • Feeling uncomfortable about the proximity of the dentist to their face

  • Some patients may feel self-conscious about their teeth’s appearance or mouth odors

Symptoms of Dental Anxiety

People with dental anxiety or phobia may experience symptoms such as:

  • Low blood pressure and possible fainting

  • Difficulty sleeping

  • Distress, crying, and signs of panic

  • Increased heartbeat

  • Sweating

  • Feeling nervous

  • Withdrawal or being aggressive or humorous to mask anxiety

How a Dentist Can Manage Dental Anxiety and Phobia in Patients 

Identify patients who have dental anxiety and allow extra time for their visits. Talk to patients and determine their anxiety triggers and create a tailored treatment plan for them.

Your dentist can use several techniques to reduce your fear, which includes:

  • Meditation

  • Hypnosis

  • Deep breathing 

  • Entertainment such as listening to music or watching TV

  • Progressive muscle relaxation 

  • Guided imagery 

Your dentist can also use these sedative drugs to help relax patients and increase comfort and relaxation during a dental procedure:

  • Nitrous Oxide  You will breathe nitrous oxide via a nose mask. After receiving the gas mixture, you will begin to relax or may experience a tingling sensation. You will feel relaxed without losing consciousness. The effects of this sedation dissipate as soon as you stop inhaling the gas. 
  • General Anesthesia 

    Certain dental procedures and surgeries require using general anesthesia. General anesthesia can make you fall asleep. The effects of this sedation can take a long time to wear off, so you cannot drive yourself home after surgery.

  • Oral Sedation

    It can be minimal or moderate, depending on the type of dental procedure. You are given a pill before the procedure. The pill will make you drowsy and fall asleep.

  • Conscious/IV Sedation

    This sedation is used for complex procedures and for some treatment options that were previously performed with general anesthesia. You will receive the sedation intravenously and will begin to feel the effects in a few minutes. You should not drive home yourself after IV sedation. 

If you are looking for pain-free and comfortable dental procedures and treatments, contact our leading dentist in Des Moines at Plaza Dental Group.

4.91304